Meditate on this
A Buffalo woman with a strong faith in God attended a recent council session suggesting that prayer be returned to the city's public schools. Council members, as well as a Buffalo school official attending the meeting, immediately recognized the request as unconstitutional, but seemed to understand the woman's sentiment that students struggling in school could benefit from a moment of reflection. If not prayer, even a moment of silence, she said. Still dicey for the school to mandate, although individual students have the right to pray in school on their own, it was pointed out.
Then came another idea. Meditation. It's been a big success in San Francisco public schools, the speaker said.
When I got back to my office, I Googled: "meditation and schools and San Francisco."
I found lots, including this: "Twice daily, a gong sounds in the classroom and rowdy adolescents, who normally can't sit still for 10 seconds, shut their eyes and try to clear their minds," wrote one San Francisco publication, which went on to say "Students in the program report significantly less stress and depression, and greater self-esteem, than nonparticipants. . . . Grades rose dramatically, compared with those who weren't in the program."
Last week's Poll results:
Given the Common Council's seemingly increasing interest in Buffalo schools, City Hallways last week asked you, City Hallways readers, to vote on this question:
"Should the Common Council get more involved with city schools?"
When the polling closed, the vote was literally split down the middle with 46 percent voting yes; 46 percent voting no, and 8 percent uncertain.
City Hallways also asked: "Should the city raise taxes to provide more money to city schools?"
The answer was a resounding NO, with 66 percent voting no; 26 percent yes, and 8 percent uncertain.
Quick note: This is far from a scientific poll. Sixty three people voted on the fist question, and 65 on the second. But it is an interesting glimpse of what City Hallways readers are thinking. I'm hoping more will participate in the next City Hallways poll, which will be posted the first week of February.
Here's upcoming meetings scheduled to give residents a chance to learn more about the city's proposed Green Code:
Niagara District - Elmwood focused: 6 p.m. Jan. 20 (tomorrow, Wednesday) at Richmond-Summer Center, 335 Summer St.
Niagara District - Niagara St. focused: 6 p.m. Jan.27, Rich Products, 1 Robert Rich Way.
Ellicott District - Downtown focus: 5:30 p.m. Jan. 25, Buffalo Place, 671 Main St.
Delaware District: 6 p.m. Jan. 28, North Buffalo Community Center, 203 Sanders Road
Fillmore District - focus on Old First Ward, Larkinville, the Valley and Buffalo River Community: 6 p.m. Feb. 2, Old First Ward Community Center, 62 Republic St..
Fillmore District - focus on Broadway/Fillmore, Genesee/Moselle, Clinton/Bailey and Seneca/Babcock neighborhoods: 6 p.m. Feb. 4, Lt. Matt Urban Center, 1081 Broadway.
Fillmore District - focus on Allentown, Lower West Side and downtown section of Waterfront: 6 p.m. Feb. 9, Allendale Theater, 203 Allen St.
Masten District: 8:30 a.m. Feb. 13, Delavan-Grider Community Center, 877 E. Delavan Ave. as part of Masten District Stakeholders breakfast meeting.
Today's Events Calendar
Common Council meets this afternoon
In today's Buffalo News and buffalonews.com, I have latest story on the ongoing Joe Mascia saga