Imagine you’re working at a school and one of the kids is starting to act up. What do you do?
Traditionally, the answer would be to give the unruly kid detention or suspension and you would think that asking a stressed, angry or upset child to sit on the floor and meditate may not seem like the best idea.
But that’s the strategy being employed at Robert W. Coleman Elementary School in Baltimore, Maryland – and it’s safe to say that it’s working.
Since the start of last year, the primary school has not suspended a single pupil, Upworthy reported.
And the school’s decision to focus on meditation as an alternative to detention might be the key to their success.
Instead of sending children to stand outside the classroom or giving them detention, they instead go to the ‘Mindful Moment Room’.
Created in partnership with local charity the Holistic Life Foundation, the room has been an unqualified success.
Kirk Philips, the school’s Holistic Me coordinator, said: ‘It’s amazing. You wouldn’t think that little kids would meditate in silence. And they do.’
The best example was at their Christmas party, where the children meditated before they were given presents.
Mr Philips said: ‘As a little kid, that’s got to be hard to sit down and meditate when you know you’re about to get a bag of gifts, and they did it! It was beautiful, we were all smiling at each other watching them.’
This isn’t just happening at one school, either. Lots of schools are trying this kind of holistic thinking, and it’s producing incredible results.
Oh, and by the way, the schools are seeing a tangible benefit from this program, too.
Philips said that at Robert W. Coleman Elementary, there have been exactly zero suspensions last year and so far this year. Meanwhile, nearby Patterson Park High School, which also uses the mindfulness programs, said suspension rates dropped and attendance increased as well.
Is that wholly from the mindfulness practices? It’s impossible to say, but those are pretty remarkable numbers, all the same.