Zen And The Art of High School Detention

04/16/2012 3:49 PM |


  • Marilynn K. Yee/The New York Times

Not every high schooler’s detention experience is as enriching as the plot of The Breakfast Club. In fact, an increasing number of educators and experts agree that detentions and suspensions are ineffective in changing students’ behavior, which is why one Brooklyn program is offering what appears to be an awesome, novel alternative. The New York Times reports that Level 1 offenders (students who often start fights) at Bushwick High School will have the option to take meditation sessions at the Brooklyn Zen Center in place of traditional disciplinary measures.

The Awake Youth Project hosts weekly workshops at five public high schools as well as an after-school program founded by La-keeyatta Steward, an East New York high school student. Greg Snyder, a Zen Buddhist priest, leads the weekly meditation sessions and aims to teach students how to “understand volatile emotions and curb impulsive behavior.”

This week, on April 21st, the Awake Youth Project will run a day-long meditation session as part of its efforts to raise funds for the program. For Steward, the center’s meditation sessions have been crucial to resolving conflicts with her mother. “Meditation has changed my life,” Steward wrote on the Sit-a-thon’s site. “I just felt her, felt how she felt, felt what she was saying to me, and I then I just let it go.”

Watch students share their meditation experiences at the center in the video below, courtesy of brooklynsitathon.org.

[via New York Times]