An ACT relating towards MEDITATION and MENTAL HEALTH in New Jersey PUBLIC SCHOOLS

  • Posted on: 5 March 2019
  • By: Carla Rios
Bill Number: 
LEEIV1
Legislature: 
Primary Chamber: 
Title: 
An ACT relating towards MEDITATION and MENTAL HEALTH in New Jersey PUBLIC SCHOOLS
Enactment Clause: 
This bill is to enact in the State Of New Jersey twenty (20) minutes of alloted optional meditation time in all New Jersey public schools.
Sections: 
Section I Definitions I. Optional defined as voluntary, free will II. Meditation defined as silent thinking, achieving mindspace in a busy schedule. Meditation, a stress-reducing technique that involves thinking of a mantra, can reduce cortisol, in turn reducing stress and its manifestations. III. Public schools defined as all state run schools, grades kindergarten thru twelfth grade. IV. High risk students defined as students more likely to act out in violence or aggression V. Cortisol is defined as a hormone produced by adrenal glands, glands sitting on top of the kidneys. Cortisol is key role to help humans adapt and respond to stress. High cortisol levels is dangerous to humans as other bodily functions start being affected. In turn, health risks such as anxiety, high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease are created. Meditation, a stress-reducing technique that involves thinking of a mantra, can reduce cortisol, in turn reducing stress and its manifestations. Section II. I. Having an optional meditation room is a step in a school environment to combat mental health issues, that will eventually cause physical health risks. Many students don’t have the option of going home to relax due to stressful home lives, after school activities and/or sports. Students need a secondary option to turn to. II. This program would be implemented in a single classroom in the school, with a meditation expert available at all times of the school day. This classroom would promote holistic intervention for high risk students. Students are more likely to turn to violence, aggression or/ and addictive substances when they have no other healthy option. By having a system that teaches students that internal peace is the only way to solve exterior issues they might be going through, the crime occuring in that area will drop. III. A study was conducted which introduced two 15-minute periods of quiet into the school day. During those times, students could either practice Transcendental Meditation, which is taught as part of the program, or engage in other quiet activities like silent reading. The students taking part in the study had shared factors, such as poverty, deprivation, lack of steady parental input, physical danger and constant fear. Over the next three years, the Florida based schools suspensions dropped by 79 percent, attendance rose to 98 percent, and students’ grade point averages rose each year. The increase in G.P.A. for the lowest performing demographic was double that for the overall student group. [NORMAN E. ROSENTHAL, 2015. Chicago Tribune] IV. Students will have a better understanding of how to lower their levels of cortisol. Unhealthy tension levels can cause chronic stress, can impair healthy brain development, and the ability to learn. Students will learn how to become more aware of their internal emotions and have a better mastery of self, leading to reduced stress, increased emotional intelligence, reduced suspensions, increased attendance and increased academic performance. V. A district trained meditation expert would be modertating the classroom and educating students on the benefits of meditation. VI. The program would be implemented in Kindergarten through twelth grade, therefore when students reach highschool level, they will understand how to respect the practice of meditation, and use it when necessary.
Effective Date: 
This bill will go into effect the school year of 2021, giving proper ammount of time to make all necessary structural and financial changes.
Statement of Intent: 
The purpose of this bill is to educate New Jersey students on the effects and benefits of practicing meditation.
Author's Note: 
Economic statement/ Fund summary The rewriting of lawbooks. District mandated meditation training for teachers.
Lobbyist Consideration: 
Yes
Speedpass Consideration: 
Yes
Secondary Sponsor: