The Baltimore school has all but done away with the detention. Instead of removing disruptive students from class and putting them in a designated area for "bad" kids, children are taught to meditate and reflect on their emotions.
A "Mindful Moment Room" was established at the elementary school to accommodate misbehaving children. It's a retreat where they can reflect on what's making them upset. Mindfulness instructors lead them through calming exercises, which allows students to cool off before returning to class.
There's also an after-school program offering the unconventional alternative to detention: Holistic Me. Students who choose to take part in the program are required to silently and peacefully meditate or practice yoga before commencing other activities.
In Holistic Me, kids learn a variety of useful skills. They're guided through meditation and yoga classes and also have access to art and sports courses, giving them plenty of opportunities to develop their academic and emotional intelligence.
Holistic Me was designed by the non-profit Holistic Life Foundation. The foundation uses yoga and mindfulness techniques to help people across all walks of life manage the emotions that come with living in high-violence communities.
The foundation was established by three Baltimore-area men who had observed the massive toll violence and crime were taking on Baltimore's children. Elementary school principal Carlillian Thompson loved the philosophy behind their programs so much, she immediately agreed to implement them at her own school.
As part of the Holistic Me program, children participate in community improvement activities like public park clean-ups and gardening. The kids are also encouraged to assist in teaching meditation classes.