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Reflect and meditate on the moment of silence

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Reflect and meditate on the moment of silence

Elyssa Abbott, Reporter, Photographer

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Each student in Georgia who attends public school grew up with the moment of silence after the Pledge of Allegiance every morning of the school year. Currently in America, 12 states require the moment of silence, but only 25 encourage it. However, the reflection time remains legal in every state. The government intends for students to use the brief silence to remain as a time for meditation and reflection, not exclusively prayer.

Lawmakers believe that students need this moment of silence to start the school day with a fresh mind. Anxiety affects 25% of teens, and meditation can help with this unforgiving mental illness by controlling stress and encouraging relaxation. High school students do not receive much free time with school work, sports, clubs, and other extracurriculars—this moment of silence could act as the only stress-free time during their day. Students need this time and an outlet to ruminate and become more contemplative.

Reflection, the other aspect of the intention of moment of silence, can consist of various topics. Reflection on the day that lies ahead of students or reflection on tragedies that occur around the world. Every year, on the anniversary of 9/11, schools hold an extra moment of silence to reflect on the lives lost. After the Tucson shooting in 2011, former President Obama and First Lady Michelle bowed their heads for five minutes to reflect on the devastating event. This period of time in the mornings does not force prayer on students, although the moment can include a prayer if that student so chooses.

Similar to flying a flag at half-mast, the moment of silence serves as a gesture to show respect and to mourn for those who recently lost their lives or loved ones due to a tragic historical event. Students strongly undervalue the moment of silence. High schoolers spend that time laughing with friends or fidgeting with a notebook.

“I would like to see all students respect their peers and teachers by staying silent [during the moment of silence]. It is 20 seconds out of their day, and I find it completely uncalled for that students choose to be disrespectful and talk during that time,” sophomore Lillian Southall said.
The Paul Robeson School in New York, started holding the moment of silence the full minute, unlike other schools, including NC that only holds it for twenty to thirty seconds. Instead of the traditional, “please remain standing for a moment of silent reflection,” the principal asks the school to think about something positive for a silent minute. From this change, faculty saw significant improvement with grades and behavior. Students from this school express that they feel focused and use the time to make resolutions for the day ahead of them.

The reason why high school students choose to not participate for the moment of silence does not make itself clear, however, they should consider standing. Whether students do not stand because of laziness, lack of respect, or just not being sure what they should think during the time, teenagers should at least become educated about the meaning behind it. The moment of silence holds a deeper meaning that will help teenagers throughout their busy days if the school uses the time to benefit them in ways, such as contemplating the day ahead, meditating positive thoughts, or reflecting on a loss our country suffered.

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Elyssa Abbott, Photographer/Reporter

Elyssa Abbott, a sophomore in the Magnet Program at NCHS, joined newspaper to pursue her dream profession of being a journalist. The youngest of 3, Abbott...

1 Comment

One Response to “Reflect and meditate on the moment of silence”

  1. Ron Fisher on December 6th, 2018 8:07 PM

    Very good article by a very bright student!

     

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Reflect and meditate on the moment of silence