—Catherine Milroy, Staff Member—
In Robert W. Coleman Elementary School, in Baltimore, MD, detention has been completely eliminated as a possible punishment. Instead, they’ve taken an approach that is gradually gaining attention across the country: replacing detention with a meditation room.
The idea originated from the Holistic Life Foundation, a program created in Baltimore to introduce yoga, meditation, and mindfulness into inner city communities. Its founders hope that they can lead children, adults, and organizations that have had difficult lives learn to find ways to find peace and the ability to live in the present.
For this elementary school, the Holistic Me after school program hopes to do the same. It is especially hard for young children to deal with their emotions and energy, regardless of where they live; for some of the kids living in this area of Baltimore, doing so is something they desperately need. From 2:30 to 5:30 every afternoon, children between kindergarten and fifth grade practice meditation and breathing exercises. Should a child act out in class, they are sent to the Mindful Moment room, where they sit down with a counselor, do their breathing practices, and talk about what caused their outburst.
Since the change, there have been zero suspensions.
Teens are known to have a difficult time managing stress and anxiety in high school as well, especially in test taking and presentation situations. Cosby has counselors to help discuss and aid with these problems with the occasional individual, sure, but hyperactivity and stress can be a problem for most students. Do you think other schools in the U.S. should try alternative punishment methods like this? Could Cosby students benefit with a stress management program?
Header Photo Courtesy of Radek Isner