California is deleting the often-used In Lak’Ech affirmation from its model ethnic studies curriculum to settle a lawsuit from a San Diego group that claims the affirmation constitutes an Aztec prayer.

The California Department of Education also is removing an Ashe affirmation from the curriculum. Ashe is a concept from the Yoruba people of Nigeria that refers to the power to effect change. The lawsuit argued it constitutes a religious chant.

Last year, California became the first state to make ethnic studies a high school graduation requirement. It will be required starting in 2026.

This lawsuit is one of the first major legal challenges to the state’s model curriculum, which was finalized in March to serve as a recommendation, but not a requirement, for schools.

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