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Denver Elementary School Replaces Detention with Yoga

Doull Elementary School in Denver, Colorado, has decided to replace punishment with yoga instruction.
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An elementary school in Denver, Colorado, has decided to replace punishment with yoga instruction.

Doull Elementary School in Denver has stopped giving troublesome students detention in favor of yoga classes because staff found that the same kids had been repeatedly getting into trouble.

“It wasn’t really changing kids’ behavior. It was a place for them to be for an hour, but we found the same kids were coming back, kind of making the same bad choices over and over and the same kids were returning to detention,” Doull Elementary School psychologist Carla Graeber told KUSA.

Instead of sending troublemakers to the principal’s office, the school sends them to Ms. Trini Heffron, the school’s hired yoga instructor.

“They are always open to practice, to play. We can get loud and we’re quiet, and then we practice in poses, and we sit down and we rest, and we meditate,” said Ms. Trini. “And they’ve been using the practices that we learn here in the class.”

The class has been so successful that the elementary school began another yoga class for non-troublemakers.

“Other kids wanted to practice yoga, but of course they didn’t want to get in trouble to be here so we started the Wednesday yoga club,” Ms. Trini said.

Doull Elementary was one of seven schools that received a grant from Denver Public Schools to implement the program on a pilot basis.

The pilot program will be offered to students through the rest of the 2018 school year and for the full 2019 school year. After the pilot program ends, Doull Elementary School officials will decide whether to continue the program using its own funding.

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