After-school detentions have long been a staple of American public schools discipline policies. I think I know what the intent is, but let’s get serious. School’s detentions are often filled with a bunch of chatty kids forced to sit silently, while trying desperately to find a way to communicate with their neighbors. In other words, not a whole lot of “learning from our mistakes” was happening.
But, a school in Baltimore, MD, is trying to change that. There’s no such thing as detention at the Baltimore Elementary. Yep, you heard that correctly. Instead, they have a Mindful Moment Room, a brightly colored “oasis of calm” that looks about as far as you can get from the windowless detention rooms typically used to punish unruly kids.
Kids who have misbehaved are simply encouraged to sit still in the mindful moment room to meditate or do breathing exercises to help them calm down, in the hopes that they’ll begin to learn how to deal with stressful or rowdy moments—instead of acting up.
The Mindful Moment Room at Robert W. Coleman Elementary School is part of an after-school programme called Holistic Me, an initiative that teaches children to practice mindful meditation and breathing exercises while encouraging them to talk to behavioral professionals.
The programme works in partnership with a local non-profit called the Holistic Life Foundation, and the results so far have been pretty impressive.
Since first taking part in the programme two years ago, Robert W. Coleman hasn’t issued a single suspension.
What do you think of this idea?