This article is just over a year old and tells of how the introduction of twice-daily meditation in San Francisco schools yielded astonishing results in terms of improved attendance, achievement and mental state of many previously troubled children.
In years past, these students were largely out of control, frequently fighting in the corridors, scrawling graffiti on the walls and cursing their teachers. Absenteeism rates were among the city’s highest and so were suspensions. Worn-down teachers routinely called in sick.
Unsurprisingly, academics suffered. The school tried everything, from counseling and peer support to after-school tutoring and sports, but to disappointingly little effect.
Now these students are doing light-years better. In the first year of Quiet Time, the number of suspensions fell by 45 percent. Within four years, the suspension rate was among the lowest in the city. Daily attendance rates climbed to 98 percent, well above the citywide average. Grade point averages improved markedly. About 20 percent of graduates are admitted to Lowell High School – before Quiet Time, getting any students into this elite high school was a rarity. Remarkably, in the annual California Healthy Kids Survey, these middle school youngsters recorded the highest happiness levels in San Francisco.
So why doesn’t something similar exist in every school, everywhere?
Of course, it may be much more common than I’m aware. I’m looking into it. In the meantime, if something similar is practised in your school, do let me know in the comments.