Meditation Mediates School Misbehavior

By Sai Sreenivasan, Observations Editor

To the general public, mediation is sometimes considered an odd practice of introspection. There are misconceptions of meditation as a practice wherein one sits cross-legged repeating “ommm” in order to clear the mind.

However, with some elementary schoolers, meditation has become an effective coping mechanism. As these students struggle in class due to various problems within their own lives, they have mastered the art of meditation to help resolve the issues that plague them.

According to a Sept. 2016 Huffington Post article, the Robert W. Coleman Elementary School in Baltimore, Md., created the Mindful Moment Room to help students deal with anger, stress or anxiety.

The room is open to students whenever they are feeling upset and it is also used for students who have misbehaved. Ever since the room was implemented in 2015, there has not been a single suspension in the school.

When elementary schoolers act out, the ordinary response from teachers is to scold or to punish them. But, in no way does that treatment change the student’s behavior. In fact, being yelled at only worsens the situation instead of helping the student resolve inner conflicts that he or she may be facing.

Although young children may be more open to “spiritual” guidance, if CHS students were given the same opportunity, they may reap similar benefits.

In today’s digital age, teenagers are glued to their devices which prevent them from living in the moment. With distractions almost everywhere, teens are very rarely able to take a breath and center themselves. Meditation allows students to slow down and take a breath, reducing the stress of the situation they are facing.

Meditation also goes beyond and introspection. According to 2013 Northeastern University study, meditation improves social behavior as well making individuals more compassionate.

With the daily turmoil occurring from school to politics, friendships to family members, and projects and tests, the best thing to do is love each other a bit more and be more understanding.

According to a 2011 Harvard University study, meditation increases dark tissue in the hippocampus, which is the part of the brain important for learning and memory.

Furthermore, this increase in brain matter also leads to an increase in academic performance.

The idea of detention has a negative connotation, and students sentenced to detention are often labeled as rebels or bad students.

While detention has its benefits as an effective deterrent of poor behavior, its overuse has proved detrimental to students. Meditation should be open to every student to take the opportunity to reflect and relax during times of difficulty.

CHS could designate a room to be a silent zone for students who need time to center themselves and take a break from stress. A club could even be started to educate students about meditation techniques.

Meditation could even serve as an alternate option for detention.

If CHS can dedicate a space just for meditation, it would improve the student body overall, encouraging less stressed and more compassionate students.