Detention to Meditation


Robert W. Coleman Elementary and the Holistic Life Foundation work together to encourage meditation and replace detention. Photo courtesy of mindfullyMAD

Mabel Ra, Photojournalist

An elementary in West Baltimore has gotten rid of detention. Rather than disciplining kids in detention, this elementary chooses to enroll students in meditation.

“Mindful Moment Room” is a room dedicated to the kids’ meditation. By immersing the kids in a calm atmosphere, they are able to work out their problems by taking the time to reflect on themselves and their decisions. Stretching, doing yoga, and practicing deep-breathing exercises, the students at Robert W. Coleman Elementary are able to truly consider their behavior and choices. The staff at this school have responded greatly to this change, claiming that the students have been affected in a positive manner, showing much progress. Adding on, the principal included that she has had zero suspensions occur in the school, since the formation of the meditation room.

Behind the scenes of the meditation room is a non-profit organization called Holistic Life Foundation, which helped to start the creation of the room at Coleman Elementary. The Holistic Life Foundation is an organization created in Baltimore to impact the wellness of its people. The HLF express their impact through serving 4500 students per week, as well as serve more than 14 schools in the city of Baltimore.

In addition to the meditation, the Holistic Life Foundation mentor, tutor, and educate the kids about the environment. The HLF organization also engages the kids to interact with the world. The after school program that HLF also partakes in, is called Holistic Me After School Program. This program sees a daily average attendance of at least 85%. Together at the after school program, volunteers guide the students while doing interactive activities like tending to gardens, visiting farms, or cleaning parks in their local community. The community garden enables the students at the elementary to interact with nature. The mentors that participate with Holistic Life Foundation are volunteers that dedicate their time to help the kids with homework, teach yoga, plan activities, and act as chaperones for the field trips.

Many schools in the city of Baltimore participate in the meditation idea, and some students like Christine Ding (10) say, “I think meditation is more effective than detention because it actually make students think about their decisions, while detention does not.” While the interest in meditation versus detention is going around, some people are still not persuaded that meditation is an effective way to send the message of the meaning of detention across. Despite the arguments in the discussion, schools such as Robert W. Coleman Elementary see a prominent difference in the students at their respective school. After many schools’ attempts in the future, perhaps we will see more of meditation and cease to hear of detention?