Saturday, July 15, 2017

California Can't Duck Hindu Students' Claim of Educational Bias

California Can't Duck Hindu Students' Claim of Educational Bias:

California Can’t Duck Hindu Students’ Claim of Educational Bias

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SAN FRANCISCO (CN) – A federal judge on Thursday refused to dismiss a lawsuit claiming California treats Hinduism unfavorably compared to other religions in its public education standards and framework.
In refusing to dismiss one of four claims against the state, U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer cited a student’s letter detailing how sixth graders were divided into castes and told the unfair system was derived from Hinduism.
“[W]e know that social hierarchies have existed in all societies, so why is Hinduism singled out with such [a] negative portrayal?” the student asked in her letter, submitted as a public comment when the state was drafting new standards last year.
California Parents for the Equalization of Educational Materials, a group that promotes the accurate portrayal of Hinduism in schools, and three Hindu parents suing on behalf of their children filed their lawsuit in February.
They claim the state Board of Education adopted recommendations from an anti-Hindu group of history teachers called the South Asia Faculty Group when it drafted new education standards and frameworks in July 2016.
Breyer refused to dismiss a claim that the educational standards violate the Establishment Clause of the U.S. Constitution, but he dismissed three other claims alleging violations of due process, free exercise of religion, and equal protection under the law.
“I’m pleased that the Establishment Clause claim has survived because it’s actually kind of the heart of what we’re fighting over,” plaintiffs’ attorney Glenn Katon said in an interview. “The California Can't Duck Hindu Students' Claim of Educational Bias:

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