Tuesday’s Children and the Law News Roundup

photo courtesy of: http://www.health.gov/paguidelines/blog/image.axd?picture=2011%2F5%2FHealthy_Lifestyle_4.11.JPG

Be Healthy, Be Active, Be You: The 2013 White House Easter Egg Roll, The White House Blog

The First Family today welcomed more than 30,000 guests to the South Lawn for the 135th annual White House Easter Egg Roll. This year’s theme, “Be Healthy, Be Active, Be You” was inspired by Let’s Move!, and the day’s fun included numerous opportunities for the young guests to get moving, from the traditional Egg Roll to the Eggtivity Zone, an obstacle course where players and coaches from professional sports teams taught kids how to play sports and showed them easy, fun ways to stay active and fit.

Obama Proclaims April the Month to Teach Young People ‘How to Budget Responsibly”, CNS News

President Barack Obama has proclaims April “National Financial Capability Month,” during which his administration will do things such as teach young people “how to budget responsibly.”

“I call upon all Americans to observe this month with programs and activities to improve their understanding of financial principles and practices,” Obama said in an official proclamation released Friday.

“Together, we can prepare young people to tackle financial challenges–from learning how to budget responsibly to saving for college, starting a business, or opening a retirement account,” he said.

Tuesday’s Children and the Law News Roundup

Juveniles in Indian-controlled Kashmir denied justice, PressTV

In a stark revelation on the grim human rights scenario in Indian-controlled Kashmir, a fact finding report by New Delhi based Asian Centre for Human Rights has termed the situation of juveniles in Kashmir as the worst in India.

The report, which happens to be the first ever documentation on juvenile justice situation in India’s conflict-ridden areas, states that minors in Kashmir continue to be illegally detained under Public Safety Act (PSA) that provides for up to two years of preventive detention.

In absence of juvenile facilities for minor boys and girls, a brazen violation of 1997 J&K Juvenile Justice Act, minors are locked up in prisons with adults.

The report has documented six cases in which the minors have been detained in violation of Juvenile Justice Act and the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Criminal justice reference site a worthwhile stop, Wisconsin Law Journal

The National Criminal Justice Reference Service “is a federally funded resource offering justice and drug-related information to support research, policy, and program development worldwide.”

The website includes a wide variety of publications, library abstracts, topical summaries, and a list of related links/websites.

To browse the site’s various topics, the researcher can select the “A-Z topics” link. Choosing an area of interest will produce a list of questions and answers specific to that topic. The webpage will also include links to relevant free and fee based publications. As an added service, the webpage includes a “Find in a library link” providing possible alternative methods for obtaining the article.

The researcher may also choose one of the broader subject-based menu options, including corrections, courts, crime, crime prevention, drugs, justice system, juvenile justice, law enforcement, and victims. From there, the user can conduct a keyword search or review the various subcategories to locate information.

The website contains a wealth of data and general information related to the various areas of criminal justice and is a worthwhile stop when conducting this type of research. If the material is of particular interest, users can also register to receive various newsletters and notifications.

Yoga: Relaxing Exercise or Hindu Religious Indoctrination?

http://www.consciousconnectionmagazine.com/2013/05/growing-a-business-with-yoga-alliance/

Paul Ecke Central Elementary School in Encinitas, California has started teaching yoga classes to its elementary school students. The classes are to be held twice weekly for thirty minutes a session.

Some parents are raising religious objections to these classes, fearing that the program will promote Hindu religious beliefs. They are claiming it violates their First Amendment rights. One parent said that the school is using yoga as “a tool for many things beyond just stretching.” While many parents have said that their children enjoy the classes, about 200 people have signed a petition saying they are against the program.

The program is supported with funds from the nonprofit Jois Foundation, founded in memory of the father of Ashtanga yoga. Some foundation leaders have equated the physical act of yoga to part of a broader spiritual question, which Dean Broyles, attorney for the Plaintiffs, views as problematic. He explained that, “There is a transparent promotion of Hindu religious beliefs and practices in the public schools” through the program. He asked, “How is a sun salutation or a lotus position not a worshipful pose?” Broyles has explained that the opponents to the Ashtanga yoga classes are not against yoga; they are against the fact that the Jois Foundation has specifically described Ashtanga Yoga as spiritual.

There is a bit of a disagreement as to whether or not the district officials have removed the mystical, spiritual, or religious nature of the yoga. Some say it was removed to make it appropriate for an elementary school class and some say it was not removed because it was not present to begin with. Either way, it is apparently the district, and not the Jois Foundation, that is selecting the teachers and writing the curriculum.

Apparently, the classes are not mandatory for students. The school superintendent, Tim Baird, clarified by saying, “If your faith is such that you believe that simply by doing the gorilla pose you’re invoking the Hindu gods, then by all means your child can be doing something else.” One parent, James Lawrence, has removed his children from the program. He would prefer that his children receive another form of physical exercise instead, but the school has no second option. Instead, his children, along with all of the other children choosing not to participate, do homework or read during the sessions. Further, the plaintiffs allege that children who have opted out of the program have been harassed and bullied.

Enyedi, the yoga instructor, seemed to defend yoga from an exercise/athletic perspective. She said, “The Ashtanga yoga sequence helps me as an athlete. I’m not a Hindu.” One teacher at the school explained that yoga is helping the students; it has helped create a level of focus in the students after they have completed the stretching exercises. The district has said: “We’re not teaching religion. We teach a very mainstream physical fitness program that happens to incorporate yoga into it. It’s part of our overall wellness program.”