Outside Quebec - Prohibition

State Board of Education. State Department of Education. Alabama. 290-040-040-.02 Certain Teaching Techniques. Since 1993 and based on the 1901 Alabama Constitution The Alabama Department of Education’s State Board of Education decided to prohibit meditation and yoga.

“The State Board of Education specifically prohibits the use of hypnosis and dissociative mental states. School personnel shall be prohibited from using any techniques that involve the induction of hypnotic states, guided imagery, meditation or yoga”. “School personnel should also emphasize the consequences of conduct that is prohibited by law or that is highly likely to result in harmful consequences to the health of a person. Such conduct shall not be presented to students as legitimate options for their consideration”.

Teaching about religion. I-6. Mountain Brook Schools. Adopted: June 11, 1990.

“The following statements, which are essentially the Court's decision as to what constitutes appropriate and inappropriate study of religion in the schools, are also statements of policy of the Mountain Brook Board of Education regarding the study of religion”. “The school may sponsor the study of religion, but should not sponsor the practice of religion”. “Therefore, students in the Mountain Brook schools should not be requested, encouraged, or invited to participate in techniques such as progressive relaxation, guided imagery, deep breathing, meditation or any similar or related”. “It is the Board's position that activities described ... may be interpreted as religious activities and should therefore be subject to Board policies which prohibit the practice of religion in the school or the religious indoctrination of students in the school”.
Adopted: June 11, 1990

How should schools teach religion to students? The Freedom Forum's Charles Haynes and comparative religion teacher Jim Maechling respond to your questions. “…experimental methods like prayer, ritual, yoga and meditation…” “ Do you think these methods should be used in the classroom? No.

Dr. Charles C. Haynes, senior scholar at the First Amendment Center. (He writes and speaks extensively on religious liberty and religion in American public life). “No. It is unconstitutional for public school teachers to lead students in prayer, yoga, meditation or any other religious practice. Education, not spiritual awareness, is the mission of the public school. Faith formation (including spiritual awareness) is the responsibility of the family and faith communities, not the public school”. “Some teachers decide to "role play" meditation or introduce yoga to students as a way of "teaching about" various religions or exposing students to these practices. In my view, recreating religious practices or ceremonies through role-playing or any other method should not take place in a public school classroom. Such activities, no matter how carefully planned or well-intentioned, risk undermining the integrity of the faith involved.

The Michigan Model. State Senate Recommendation: Public schools should be vigilant and held accountable, so they do not endorse the religious teachings or practices of any religion (relaxation techniques, calm breathing, yoga and meditation). Warnings should be given to parents and research should be done about potential harmful effects.

“The New Age is there in the Michigan Model. It's there under the guise of something else: relaxation techniques, calm breathing, yoga and meditation”. “State Senate Recommendation: Public schools should be vigilant and held accountable, so they do not endorse the religious teachings or practices of any religion”. Full copies of the Senate Report can be obtained through Senator Gilbert DiNello's office, 26th District, PO Box 30036, Lansing Michigan 48909-7536 (phone:517-373-735) or by contacting Watchman Fellowship.

Quaterly Report. July – September 2000. ” The Court of Appeals found that SCI/TM is a religion because it concerns itself with the search for ultimate truth just like other religions. “When the government seeks to encourage this version of ultimate truth, and not others, an establishment clause problem arises.” Copy at 214. Kevin C. McDowell, General Counsel, at (317) 232-6676, kmcdowel@doe.state.in.us.

Who Took the "T" out of "TM"? Tom Forehand. A federal appeals court in 1979 called TM a form of religious teaching and ruled the practice could not be taught in New Jersey public schools. The decision is often cited as a precedent in religion-in-public-schools cases.

Separtion of Guru and State. Influence of the New Age Movement on Public Education. Francis J. Beckwith. PREMISE, Volume II, Number 4, April 27, 1995.

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