School's Yoga Class Leads to Lifetime of Pain: Student

The argument over yoga taught during school hours in the North County did not end in court.

The California school district involved in a legal battle over yoga being taught in a California school system heard from one teenager who claims she will live with a lifetime of pain because of the instruction.

A group of parents sued to shut down the Encinitas Union School District (EUSD) yoga program because they claim it has religious roots.

After a San Diego County judge determined the classes were watered down enough to be more stretching than religious teaching, the case is now in the hands of the Fourth District appeals court.

At an EUSD board meeting Tuesday night, an eighth grader shared how six months in yoga class left her with $2,000 in medical bills and a lifetime of hip pain.

Katie Prince, 14, said yoga poses in her sixth grade PE class either aggravated or caused the hip impingement she struggles with today.

“When I was in yoga I was in a lot of pain and I couldn't walk and my hips were grinding on each other," Prince said.

After two years, the teenager spends a couple hours a week in physical therapy.

She shared her story for the first time with the school board who added the yoga curriculum to the PE program.

“This could happen to anybody and it is happening to children,” Prince said.

Prince opted out of the class originally for religious reasons.

Her parents and a dozen others who also say teaching yoga is teaching religion were at the board's regularly scheduled meeting.

“If the child doesn't do the poses correctly, at best it's not effective. At worst, it can lead to injury which is what we are seeing,” one parent told the board.

“This can't be regulated. People can do whatever they want and say whatever they want in that room without me,” parent Sara McKay said.

The Prince family says Katie's complaint was emailed to her school's principal last August who forwarded it to the school administrators.

Board members did not acknowledge the school responded to the complaint even tonight.

“I just don't want anybody else to have to go through what I went through,” Prince said.

As for the legal battle, a three-judge panel will decide whether to overturn the county court's ruling in a couple months.

Contact Us