Public Schools in Baltimore Choose Meditation Over Detention

Finding inner peace through mindful moments

Oct 5, 2016
Instead of detention, these kids receive the tools to handle conflict with teachers and peers. (Holistic Life Foundation)

Instead of detention, these kids receive the tools to handle conflict with teachers and peers. (Holistic Life Foundation)

Students meditating as a means for conflict resolution may not be the first thing you think of when you think public schools, but that is exactly what the Baltimore-based Holistic Life Foundation has introduced to the city’s schools. Founded by a trio who grew up in the local community, the Holistic Life Foundation, wants to empower the community through mindfulness education and self-care practices. To reach this goal, the foundation established a Mindful Moment Program for the city’s public schools which offers an inspirational alternative to traditional forms of punishing students’ bad behaviour.

As part of the program, participating schools open a Mindful Moment Room, where students can be sent for having acted out in class instead of a classical detention-like setting. In this room students are given the tools to harness a stronger awareness of their surroundings, emotions, and thoughts, as well as how to handle conflict with teachers and peers - no matter how big or small. Staff members in the Mindful Moment Room empower students by using various techniques such as breathing and centering exercises, and communicating their feelings, emotions, and thoughts surrounding the incident. They also role-play possible future conflicts and how to better handle a similar situation should one arise again.

The training is based in yoga, meditation, breathing, Tai-Chi, centering, and other mindfulness and wellness techniques. Since these progressive practices have been used in the educational capacity, students have shown sincere efforts in applying their uses at home and in social settings. The Holistic Life Foundation also offers mentoring, urban youth yoga programs, environmental programs and more for the local Baltimore community, and helps over 4500 students a week to be their best self.

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ELIANNA BAR-EL, CONTRIBUTOR
Elianna has a background in English literature and psychology and works as an editor and freelance wardrobe stylist. She writes on travel, fashion, food and inspiring people.