Meditation, Schools, & Guns
Once again, we watch in horror as yet another school shooting unfolds. Yet once again, we continue to have the same, divisive argument that serves to move us away from a solution and towards more turmoil. Let's look at the cause of this problem, and stop focusing on just the symptoms.
School shootings have been an unfortunate growing trend in America. Since the beginning of 2018, there has been data circulating stating that as of February 15, 2018, there have been an alarming 18 school shootings. Recently, however, an article was released that explained that data in greater detail, and we have found that it was misleading. The data included accidental discharges, robberies, and suicides in the reporting, even when no lives were lost and no students were targeted. Technically they were shootings at a school, but they are much different than a "School Shooting," where an active shooter enters the building with the intent to shoot and kill as many children as possible. Make no mistake about it, one shooting is one too many. But 18 sends a much different number than the actual number of 3. 3 is a number that removes the blind panic and allows us to breathe for a moment as we formulate a constructive plan. But what should such a plan look like?
Meditation & Change
People don't just wake up and decide to one day murder children. Such choices are usually the result of a lifetime of trauma, hardship, and mental illness - indicators and warnings that could be used to help identify potential shooters. But what if we attacked this problem from the beginning, instead of the end? What if we focused on the causal factors that will ultimately lead to a school shooter, instead of focusing on how to address a shooter at the moment they enter the building? Meditation may offer that option.
In the early 70s, several studies were performed looking at the benefits of Transcendental Meditation. What these studies found, after looking at comparisons between several large cities, was that cities with a population of Transcendental Meditation practitioners of 1% or larger of the total population, they found a decrease in crime. They also found that once other cities reached a meditation population of 1%, crime began to decline in those cities as well. What does this mean for schools? In a 2016 article about a school in Baltimore, it was shown that after introducing meditation instead of detention, suspensions went to zero, attendance improved, and grades increased. Imagine what impact that would have if implemented in all schools nation wide! This podcast explores the potential benefits of meditation, conflict resolution, and other preventative measures to help develop a plan, identify students in crisis, and help prevent future tragedies in a way that is beneficial, constructive, and empowering.