Parents fight to stop California schools from making kids chant to Aztec gods
One deity, Tezcatlipoca, was honored with human sacrifices
A group of parents is asking California’s public school system to ban teachers from asking students to recite chants to Aztec gods, including one worshiped with human sacrifices. The parents also contend that the ethnic studies program that the state adopted earlier this year violates the U.S. Constitution.
In Aztec tradition, an impersonator of Tezcatlipoca, one of several gods featured in the curriculum, would be sacrificed with his heart removed to honor the deity.
The educational lessons were described this week as “blatantly unconstitutional” by the Thomas More Society, which is representing the parents in the legal action against the state of California Board of Education.
“Our clients are not opposed to having students learn about different cultures and religions, including the practices of the Aztecs,” the Society said in a statement.
“But the California State Board of Education’s approved Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum goes far beyond that by directing students to pray to Aztec deities. This portion of the Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum is not only offensive, but blatantly unconstitutional.”
Thomas More included an assessment from Dr. Alan Sandstrom, an anthropology professor at Purdue University in Indiana.
Sandstrom supports the curriculum’s objectives, but considers the chant a mistake. “The affirmation as presented amounts to a religious activity that I think has no place in public schools,” he said.