A former Christian student at a Chicago public school won $150K in a lawsuit alleging she was forced into participating in Hindu rituals during a “Quiet Time” program.
The student, Mariyah Green, objected to being asked to bow to a foreign deity and participate in rituals that conflicted with her Christian beliefs.
The program involved Transcendental Meditation and chanting of mantras, which the student later discovered were names of Hindu Gods. (Trending: Donald Trump Gets Great News)
Never give up on your rights! 👏👏👏
Christian student gets $150k judgment in lawsuit stating she was forced to participate in Hindu rituals at Chicago school
Mariyah Green said Bogan High School in Chicago made her attend ‘very mandatory’ 15-minute daily sessions designated… pic.twitter.com/9lCscRlEv7
— Old School Eddie (@Old_SchoolEddie) November 9, 2023
The school district terminated the program in 2020 and denied any violation of constitutional rights.
The student felt uncomfortable and believed the rituals could have negative spiritual effects.
“I’m a very strong Christian,” Mariyah Green stated.
“Like, I’m in school right now, why is we learning how to meditate in this way? I just knew it wasn’t right. So that’s what made me take the initiative and go home to tell my parent and my auntie, who was my pastor at the time, that I didn’t feel comfortable with what they was enforcing on me at school.”
“The only time I kneel was when I was at the altar at church when I’m praying and I’m kneeling down for God because that was a way that we was taught, but not the kneeling to that idol. It was inappropriate,” she added.
“CPS used was Quiet Time — a meditation-based social-emotional learning tool… which develops programs to serve populations dealing with violence and trauma,” the district stated.
“During a ‘Puja’ initiation ceremony, specific items are presented to the picture of Guru Dev while the ‘Transcendental Meditation’ instructor chants aloud in Sanskrit for about three to five minutes and performs certain rehearsed ritual movements,” the lawsuit read.
“CPS students were regularly asked by the instructors to participate in the ‘Puja’ by placing various items before the image of Guru Dev or to kneel before that image.”
“Some kids also they can – they be put in a situation where we can be manipulated… Because who knows what the chant could have meant and what I was putting in my mind, and [then] channel into myself or you know my life. So you just got to be careful because… like the devil will come in different ways,” Green said.
The district acknowledged a “resolution between parties” but denied liability in the case.
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