OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. (CBS Local) – An elementary school in Oklahoma is tackling mental health issues and discipline with an all new approach: a meditation room.
“Meditation class was a response to a need to address mental illness in young children,” Joanna Eldridge of Edgemere Elementary told KFOR.
The special education teacher claims students can act out and struggle in class because they don’t know how to properly handle new situations. Eldridge reportedly started meditation classes at the school in 2016, using yoga and various therapies to encourage a change of behavior.
“We talk about coping skills, strategies we can use as a response in specific situations to basically help them avoid certain behaviors and just replace them,” Eldridge explained.
The Oklahoma school did not detail whether all discipline has been replaced by the meditation program or what behaviors require students to visit the room. Eldridge says the new room shouldn’t be thought of as discipline, but a way to “correct” overwhelmed children.
“It’s not punishing students; it’s helping them to replace behaviors they don’t want to have as a response to certain situations.”