LOS ANGELES, CA – Lunch time on at schools usually means involuntary detention, but now students are voluntarily assigning themselves to it for a moment to unwind.

  • Lunch detention turns into meditative sessions
  • Students now signing themselves up for a chance to unwind
  • Goal is to teach students mindfulness

Previously, students were sent to punitive detention. Now Horace Mann School in Beverly Hills calls it “a call to attention” offering sessions for mindfulness, self-awareness, breathing and meditation. The idea came from special education teacher Joshua Reitzenstein.

“We are trying to give a more positive feedback, instead of I’m going to yell at you because you’re in trouble and we want you to change your behavior; we are going to say let me give you some skills that you can use on your own, so that you can make your own choices and you can change your behavior,” said Reitzenstein.

Reitzenstein is also a licensed yoga instructor, and since 2017 he has been introducing these types of mindfulness skills to kids at school. However, in January, he was given a green light to run a more formal type of experiment. With students volunteering to show up, many say it has been a success.

Towards the end of one of the sessions Reitzenstein tells the students, “you guys are growing into the people, the adults, you’re going become. And believe it or not, the choices you make now will impact and affect the way you get wired to be out in the world when you grow up.”

The sessions focus on the most important skills students will need to succeed like self-awareness, breathing, and thinking through their actions.