California public schools to remove Aztec prayers from curriculum after legal settlement

Aztec prayers will be removed from the California ethnic studies model curriculum after a group of parents who had sued over its inclusion, alleging it was a sectarian endorsement of religion, secured a legal settlement with the state. 

The Thomas More Society, a nonprofit legal group that specializes in religious liberty cases, obtained the settlement last week, which the group touted as a “significant triumph for freedom and equality.” 

The California model curriculum for ethnic studies had included a series of Aztec chants and prayers in its guides and directed school districts to lead students in the prayers following a “lesson that may be emotionally taxing or even when student engagement may appear to be low,” Thomas More Society special counsel Paul Jonna said in a press release.

In a tweet thread, Jonna said that the co-chair of the ethnic studies model curriculum, Tolteka Cuauhtin, had previously written that Christian conquistadors had committed “theocide” against groups such as the Aztecs and that “the response should be to ‘regenerate indigenous spiritual traditions.’”
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