Even though I have been saying for years that it is essential we that ensure that our teachings in public schools meet the highest bar in terms of being truly secular, recent events have given me pause. If we are walking our talk then we must practice— listening, breathing and responding with wisdom and compassion to understandable and legitimate concerns, and recommitting to meeting the standard of secularity.
Most of our inboxes and Facebook pages are filled with posts affirming the real benefits of mindfulness for children and adolescents, and we can be deluded into believing that our programs are not at risk of being challenged. However one email can change that in a moment.
Below is snippet of recent email from a colleague as well as some required reading on the subject.
“One of the districts in which we provide mindfulness education received this [24 page] memorandum from the National Center for Law and Policy. These are the same folks that spear head the litigation with the Encinitas School district in CA. They seem to be making many of the same inflammatory and misinformed arguments that they lost with in both in lower courts and on appeal in the CA case. Whats new here is there idea that mindfulness is harmful to children.”
Please, as a PRACTICE put yourself in the concerned parents shoes, and imagine how you would feel if your school district introduced a program that you felt threatened your world view (bring to mind some curriculum you believe is mistaken and even dangerous) then sit with this for AT LEAST 72 HOURS before you post a reply.