A student who described herself as a “strong Christian” reached a settlement with Chicago Public Schools after alleging that was forced to participate in Hindu rituals.
Although Mariyah Green was awarded $150,000, the school district claimed it did not violate her “sincerely held religious beliefs.”
Green told Fox News, “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 said.
The school district claimed in a statement that it used “Quiet Time–a meditation-based social-emotional learning tool… which develops programs to serve populations dealing with violence and trauma.”
Green alleged that students were shown an image of a “guru” and were asked to bow to it.
The student explained, “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.”