State OKs changes to Cabarrus charter school

Curriculum viewed as religious removed

The N.C. Charter School Advisory Committee on Thursday gave its OK to changes a planned Cabarrus County school has made to its charter, removing aspects of its curriculum that could be construed as religious.

Leaders of the Carolina International School presented their revised charter at a meeting with the charter school committee in Raleigh. School leaders said they removed all mentions of Transcendental Meditation, Consciousness-Based Education and Natural Law Curriculum from the school’s plans.

Transcendental Meditation

“Transcendental Meditation was ruled a religion by the United States District Court, District of New Jersey, Docket No. 76-341 (H.C.M.) Civil Action, in the case of Alan B. Malnak. et al., Plaintiffs, v. Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, et al., Defendants, in a summary judgment issued October 19, 1977, followed by an order and judgment, filed December 12, 1977.”
- Is TM a religion?

The state Department of Public Instruction, which gives final approval to charter schools, will review the revised charter, said Richard Beall, director of the Carolina International School.

Because of opposition from residents, the Charter School Advisory Committee last month directed the school to drop all curriculum with religious content.

The school’s leaders said that’s exactly what they did.

“They encouraged us to move ahead on all aspects of our school and wished us well. They were very encouraging,” Beall said of the meeting with the charter school advisory committee.

The committee’s chairman, Michael Fedewa, was unavailable for comment after the meeting.

Carolina International School’s first-year capacity is 320 students. Beall said the school has a waiting list, with more than 550 students registered. About 60 percent of prospective students are from Mecklenburg County and the rest from Cabarrus and a handful of other places.

What is It?

Transcendental Meditation, commonly called TM, is a form of meditation derived from an ancient Indian practice. It was introduced in the United States around 1960 by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi.

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