The Crusader Newspaper Group

School replaces detention with meditation

By Barry Anderson,

Imagine that when your child messes up in school they don’t go to the board and have to write the same sentence over and over again or do busy work as their punishment (like I had to do growing up). Instead they are sent to a place and given an opportunity to focus, clear their mind and better themselves.

Well, for students at Baltimore’s Robert W. Coleman Elementary School, it’s a reality.

Misbehaving children are sent to a purple-pillowed space called The Mindful Meditation Room, which allows them to calm down and recenter through breathing exercises and mediation before reentering the classroom. The room was created in partnership with Holistic Life Foundation, Inc. which is a non-profit organization “committed to nurturing the wellness of children and adults in underserved communities.”

Not only do children with disciplinary problems make use of the space, the meditation is a comforting treatment for those suffering from anxiety, headaches, stomach problems, and stress. The twenty-minute sessions taught by mindfulness instructors have already made an impact in the school. Since its induction into Robert W. Coleman, not one suspension has been issued.

Photo credit by Holistic Life Foundation
Photo credit by Holistic Life Foundation

Many of today’s successful people; Oprah, Russell Simmons, Jamie Foxx, and more all confess to the power of meditation in helping them achieve their dreams so why not try it for youth?

Meditation has been linked to a number of things including increased ability to focus, boosts memory, reduces stress, induces endorphins. Researchers have seen this at the level of the brain. Greater concentration is related to the increased energy meditation provides.

The Mindful Meditation Room already seems to be successful, according to the student testimonials on the Holistic Life Foundation website. One 5th grader speaks of using breathing exercises before a big exam: “I took deep breaths to stay calm and just finish the test. When everybody around you is making a lot of noises just trying to tune them out…and be yourself, do your breathing.” Another student has taken the exercises learned at school and has translated them for the home: “This morning I got mad at my Dad, but then I remembered to breathe and then I didn’t shout.”


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