School Gives Students Meditation, Not Detention

childrenmeditatingRobert W. Coleman Elementary School in Baltimore has a new routine: instead of using more traditional methods disciplining students, it’s assigning them meditation. It’s part of a growing trend among educators, advocates for prison reform, and staff at crisis centers teaching kids mindfulness and meditation techniques.  The Maryland school joins the  a list that includes Minnesota, California, New York, other states and the United Kingdom.

According to, “Mindfulness is a secularized approach to Buddhist meditation in which practitioners learn to observe their thoughts and feelings and, if things go according to plan, achieve more control over them. In order to teach children mindfulness, teachers will instruct their classroom to spend a short amount of time sitting quietly and observing their breath and the pitter-patter of their minds.”

The best part is that it’s showing results! reported that students are really embracing meditation and breathing, and that even young kids in the program are now able to sit in meditate in silence. What’s even more impressive? Philips said that there were “exactly zero suspensions last year,” at Robert W. Coleman, and that there haven’t been any this year so far either.

Teachers are getting in on the benefits as well: Ilana Nankin, the founder of Breathe For Change, an organization offering yoga and wellness teacher trainings specifically geared to educators, tells Babble that “teachers are often looking for effective ways to connect, help, and care for their students, but that they often get bogged down in their own stress, stemming from their workloads, administrative pressure, or even their own personal lives.”

Photo credit: wikipedia

by Cheryl Shainmark