Aztec gods left with no chants at California schools — Analysis

State’s education authorities scrapped semi-religious rite to settle lawsuit with parents 

Students at California public schools won’t be asked to recite a chant based on Aztec religious practices, which some parents compared to a prayer to “demotic” pagan gods, who used to get human sacrifices.

Local media reports that the California Board of Education, Department of Education (CDE), agreed to remove the rite from their model curriculum for the optional Ethnic Studies Program. It was part of an agreement reached by the court with three parents, who had opposed its adoption in March.

Teachers could use the model curriculum to create a variety of lesson plans. “affirmations, chants, and energizers”To be used in the classroom “bring the class together, build unity around ethnic studies principles and values, and to reinvigorate the class following a lesson that may be emotionally taxing or even when student engagement may appear to be low.”

One of the two was nicknamed “In Lak Ech affirmation”It is inspired by Aztec beliefs regarding the origin of the universe and world. It is described as an adaptation. “into poetic, rhythmic, hip hop song form”The Nahui Ollin is an Aztec idea of four movements, or four epochs. It is a chant that emphasizes unity among oneself and others.

Modern Nahui Olin is reimagined to reflect four principles: self-reflection and learning history; creativity; self-renewal. They were however named after Aztec gods. During the In Lak Ech affirmation, students invoke Huitzilopochtli as the Aztec gods of war, sun and human sacrifice.

The plaintiffs in the case, represented by the Thomas More Society, alleged that the CDE was de facto introducing pagan prayers into the curriculum, in violation of California’s constitution.

“The Aztec prayers at issue – which seek blessings from and the intercession of these demonic forces – were not being taught as poetry or history,” Paul Jonna, partner at LiMandri & Jonna LLP and Thomas More Society Special Counsel, said in a statement. 

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Another suggested chant, called “The plaintiffs” was also mentioned by the plaintiffs. “Ashe affirmation,”It is an esoteric force that comes from West African spiritual traditions. Ashe is the name of a universal esoteric force in the Yoruba people’s folklore.

School board refuted the claims that the model course was religious and stated it was designed to help schools. “local discussions on expanding ethnic studies offerings.”It was billed as opening the door to a new era of innovation. “confronting and ultimately transforming racism in our society and in our state.”

According to the agreement, both controversial chants must be dropped from the model curriculum. The outcome of litigation was not announced by the education authorities immediately. Jose Velazquez (one of the plaintiffs) stated that the settlement provided relief for the families. He also noted that “it took a multiracial coalition of individuals with different backgrounds and beliefs to move a mountain to challenge the state education apparatus.”

Chris Rufo (conservative researcher) brought the chants to public attention in 2013. Rufo is well-known for opposing so-called critical racism theory and what he considers to be an encroachment on American society by a racist ideology. He lauded the agreement, saying that it justified his reporting and put shame on those who denied it.

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