This Elementary School Replaced Detention with Meditation, and the Results Speak for Themselves
Two years ago, a Baltimore elementary, the Robert W. Coleman School, made a radical policy change that faced more than its share of criticism. Today, it’s being held up as a shining example of what alternatives to traditional punishment can look like.
Coleman School had stopped sending its kids to detention, instead putting them in something called a Mindful Moment room. It’s an oasis of bright colors and calm. When told to go there, students enter the room and practice breathing and meditation exercises.
They’re also encouraged to talk about their problems with a supervising adult. Those problems can be school-related or personal.
The following pictures tell the story of how it started and the amazing results.
Faced with the budgetary constraints and socioeconomic issues that the greater city of Baltimore has faced, Coleman School was awash in behavioral issues that not only impacted the education its students received but their preparation for the next evolution of their lives.
But since they implemented the Holistic Me program, in conjunction with a local foundation known as Holistic Life, they have not suspended a single child in the two years since the program.
Teachers claim that students are not only less prone to getting trouble, but also more focused and more respectful not just of the teachers, but of the other students.
It’s unclear what the next steps are with the program – frankly, it was a small miracle that the program was able to be greenlit at a public school. Even with the compelling results following two years of implementation, it’s a tough sell to other schools that have parents who aren’t so quick to adopt nontraditional practices like the Mindful Moment room.
That said, proponents ARE starting to take notice, and thanks to the courage of the school for adopting such a program, the word is traveling about the effectiveness of meditation among these students. So not only might this result in a better class of students at the Coleman School, but one day it could be responsible for a better class of students throughout the nation.