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5 Inspiring Reasons Why a School Replaced Detention with Meditation

Robert W. Coleman Elementary School has started gaining attention due to their new replacement for detention with meditation, sending misbehaving students to a Mindful Moment Room.

#1 Meditation Room Teaches Stillness

The meditation room was created in partnership with Holistic Life Foundation allowing students to sit still, practice breathing and calming down their emotions.

The students are encouraged to discuss why they misbehaved in contrast to simply punishing them.

The foundation has run a ten year program called Holistic Me for elementary children with a selection of mindfulness and yoga classes.

#2 Holistic Me Promotes Sustainability

The holistic life foundation helps children learn about their community, taking care for the environment and nurtures wellbeing in underserved areas.

The program also allows kids to co-teach yoga classes taking on extra responsibility.

Robert W. Coleman Elementary has not had a single suspension in over a year, showing the positive impact of meditation.

#3 Meditation and Reduced Depression

A study by Filip Raes, researching five middle schools in Belgium, using about 400 students (13 ~ 20 years old), found that:

“Students who follow an in-class mindfulness program report reduced indications of depression, anxiety and stress up to six months later. Moreover, these students were less likely to develop pronounced depression-like symptoms.”

Furthermore, a review by Madhav Goyal, MD, of The Johns Hopkins University, published in JAMA Internal Medicine (2014) looked at different types of mindfulness meditation among 47 studies, finding that it had the same moderate effect on treating depression as medication, as well as anxiety and pain.

#4 Reducing Stress

The Daily Telegraph reported that “after meditation training of 20 minutes once a day for only five days, people, had measurably less anxiety and lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol”.

Meditation allows children and adults to take time to observe thoughts and emotions, becoming detached from them and therefore recognize them, before they can act out.

In an increasingly digitalized world of constant stimulation, many leaders in education, business and technology are suggesting meditation as a means of gaining perspective and enhancing focus and health.

For example Ariana Huffington, founder of The Huffington Post offered her editors to undergo transcendental meditation classes.

She has stated that “there doesn’t have to be a trade-off between performance and actually tapping into a place of peace, strength and wisdom within.”

Photo Credit: Holistic Life Foundation

#5 Meditation in Schools: a Growing Movement

Robert W. Coleman Elementary School is not the only school introducing meditation to classes.

Visitacion Valley middle school in San Francisco was notorious for being surrounded by drugs and gang violence.

In 2007 a meditation programme called Quiet Time was introduced to help deal with stress. The results included a reduction of suspensions by 45 percent and by 2009-10, attendance rates were over 98 percent.

There is also a campaign called ‘Mindfulness in Schools’ in the UK trying to educate and bring about mindfulness and meditation techniques to the next generation, learning calmness and how to deal with stress.

David Lintott is a freelance journalist, covering culture, sport and society. He hails from the decaying seaside town of Eastbourne, which he considers the source of his world-weariness.


  1. tlcji
    September 26, 2016

    This is such fabulous and HOPEFUL news! I have known about the Quite Time program in San Fran bringing TM into the school for a few years now and the more school that bring meditation into their day to day the better. Personally TM floats my boat in all areas of my life. Good stuff!!

  2. scnethics
    December 8, 2016

    Meditation, OK. Transcendental Meditation (TM)? That’s a big, money-making outfit. No reason for anyone to make money off of meditation, when there are numerous, simple and equally effective ways to meditate. TM’s followers believe (among other things) that their techniques will allow people to levitate and fly one day. If this is a front group for TM, which I strongly suspect, school children shouldn’t be exposed to it.

    • mgoms
      March 8, 2017

      I do believe that the focus of the movements of meditation on schools is to teach children the benefits of meditation and mindfulness, not any other. I think it is particularly important and aimed at children which find it harder to concentrate or be still, this would be a step forward to a new way of schooling which really brings benefits to mental health in that it would reduce stress, increase focus, and teach children self-awareness.

      • scnethics
        March 8, 2017

        Like I said: Meditation, OK. But when a group that has made billions selling their special brand of meditation as the only path to enlightenment (Transcendental Meditation) tries to connect with our children, NO!

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