Lawsuit: School ended yoga classes because Christian parents complained

An assistant principal claims a Georgia school district ended a yoga program to<span> promote Christianity. </span>(Photo: BSIP/UIG via Getty Images)
An assistant principal claims a Georgia school district ended a yoga program to promote Christianity. (Photo: BSIP/UIG via Getty Images)

A Georgia school district is in the middle of a legal battle over its decision to end a yoga program, and a judge ruled on Friday that a jury will decide whether or not the program was nixed to appease Christian parents.

Want daily pop culture news delivered to your inbox? Sign up here for Yahoo’s newsletter.

The assistant principal who instituted the program, Bonnie Cole, sued the Cobb County School District in 2017 after she was transferred to a different elementary school following complaints about the breathing and stretching exercises. Cole’s suit argued that the district “capitulated” to Christian parents who objected to the program for religious reasons, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Cole’s suit says her yoga program was not a religious practice. She also accused the district of being hypocritical for sending out emails containing “Christian-based daily scripture devotionals” to staff, per the AJC.

She is seeking damages for the distress, inconvenience and income loss that she says came from being transferred to a “low-performing” school.

The Cobb County School District‘s response to the lawsuit argued that Cole wasn’t victimized, nor were her rights violated by being transferred to a different school, the AJC reported.

Attorneys for the district wrote in a court filing that disruptions at the school made Cole “unable to effectively lead her staff and her students moving forward,” according to the Associated Press. The lawsuit says upset parents held a protest to ask “Jesus to rid the school of Buddhism” in 2016.

The district had requested that the case be dismissed, but the AP reports that U.S. Judge William Ray ruled on Friday that it will be argued before a jury. The trial could begin in the fall, according to the AJC.

Read more from Yahoo! Lifestyle:

Follow us on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter for nonstop inspiration delivered fresh to your feed, every day.