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THINGS WE’VE LEARNED

STRANGE BUT PE / RELIGIOUS STUDIES

TAKING THE REGISTER

Calls for a yoga ban stretch credulity

Making a hash of children’s names

Forget the furore over the teaching of creationism. As the city of Encinitas in California can testify, that’s old news. The fight has now evolved into a spat over the teaching of yoga. Previously, in an effort to promote student health, a school district had incorporated yoga classes into its wellness curriculum. However, the National Center for Law & Policy (NCLP), a Christian civil liberties organisation, has started to make waves. The NCLP, a non-profit group, argues that yoga is inherently religious. One parent, Mary Eady, reportedly pulled her firstgrade son out of the classes. She said she had observed a class in which the children did the motions referred to in yoga as a sun salutation. She said while the teacher called it an ‘opening sequence’ the students were being asked to worship the sun, which went against her Christian beliefs that only God should be worshipped. “What they are teaching is inherently spiritual, it’s inappropriate in our public schools,” she said. Encinitas is believed to have the only public school system that will have yoga instructors teach full-time at its nine schools as part of a curriculum that includes nutrition and a school gardening programme. “This is 21st century PE,” said Encinitas Superintendent Timothy Baird. “It’s physical. It’s strength-building. It increases flexibility, but it also deals with stress reduction and focusing, which kickball doesn’t do.” The programme is expected to teach a 30-minute yoga lesson to roughly 5,000 students twice a week at the district’s primary schools. Researchers at the University of Virginia and University of San Diego will monitor the programme.

The most popular names that teachers will encounter in their classes in coming years are Oliver for boys and Lily for girls. However, there will also be a number of more unusual names. For example, the rise of social media has inspired one set of parents to tell the world (via Facebook) that their daughter is to be known as Hashtag Jameson, after the # symbol beloved of Twitter. It should be stated that this could easily be a joke or some kind of viral marketing campaign, but no one has yet come forward to dispute the claim. Her mother wrote (in text speak): “Hashtag Jameson was born at 10 oclock last nite. She weys 8pounds and i luv her so much!” This follows reports that an Israeli couple named their daughter Like, after the feature on Facebook. Lior Adler and his wife Vardit, who live near Tel Aviv, said they were looking for a name that was ‘modern and innovative’. If any readers are looking for names for their babies, LF would like to suggest Flickr and Lol for girls; Avatar and Blog for boys.

20 LEADERSHIP FOCUS ● MARCH/APRIL 2013

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21/02/2013 09:00

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