Breathe in, breathe out

How meditation may be a more effective reaction to misbehavior

Lauren Mahome, Op-Ed Writer

Imagine being in trouble in school and getting to choose your punishment. You can either be referred to the Dean’s Office for a Saturday detention, or you can go sit in a meditation room to breathe and clear your mind.

I’m assuming most people would choose the meditation room by default. Not because they feel meditating will necessarily help the situation, but mostly because it sounds a heck of a lot better than sitting in E-1 on a Saturday.

The reason meditation should be included in the H-F curriculum to replace our disciplinary system today is because it is less harsh and way more effective.

There’s a stigma that meditation has; it’s often looked upon as either a religious act or shenanigans.

It’s actually neither one of those things.

The act of meditation doesn’t involve any religious practices or aromatherapy. It’s actually a simple and scientifically validated exercise for your mind.  

In 1998, Dean Ornish, the Clinical Professor of Medicine at the University of California, released a breakthrough study about meditation published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. It shows that along with boosting brain efficiency, meditation can dramatically reduce stress levels and reverse heart disease.

An organization called the Holistic Life Foundation has the goal to improve student behavior with meditation techniques instead of harsh punishment that seem to have no real impact on behavioral issues.

The organization has implemented their program in 14 schools in the Baltimore area– one of them being Robert W. Coleman Elementary School.

This school has taken action by sending misbehaving children to a meditation room instead of punishing them, and the results are extraordinary.

Since they replaced the punishment with meditation, the school has gone from having four suspensions in the 2014-2015 school year to reducing the number down to zero last year. There has also been no reported suspensions for this year.

There was also a reduction in the number of students referred to the room to begin with.

This shows that meditation is having a positive impact on students’ behavior. It also shows that the disciplinary system in place clearly is neither helping nor teaching kids to improve their behavior in school.

This isn’t only for the children though.

Meanwhile, Patterson Park High School has also implemented this and the rate of suspension dropped, and attendance increased as well.

I think that including meditation to the H-F curriculum will call for less detentions while also making a less stressful environment for students.

Although meditation seems controversial or it won’t work, it actually is proven through scientific research. The trials these schools in Maryland have done that meditation would be an effective choice for our school to make.

Don’t knock it until you try it.