March 22, 2004

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National Education Conference On
Peace-Promoting Meditation In The Classroom
Draws Huge Response From Media, Educators

Top national media packed the Helmsley Hotel in New York on Wednesday, March 10, to hear a panel of educators, parents, and students calling for the introduction of Transcendental Meditation in the classroom in order to reduce the alarming rise of stress and stress-related disorders among schoolchildren.

This consciousness-based approach to education, long advocated by the Natural Law Party, has now gained mainstream acceptance. NBC, CBS, CNN, FOX, BET, Voice of America, Barron’s, The New Yorker, People magazine, Business Week, and many newspapers covered the press conference and interviewed the speakers—and the reports have been very positive and comprehensive. (To read the New Yorker article, click on

Immediately following the press conference was a national education conference entitled “Improving Academic Achievement and Reversing the Alarming Rise of Classroom Stress through Transcendental Meditation.” Over 80 people attended this event, including representatives from the New York City Department of Education and New York City schools as well as schools in nearby New Jersey, Westchester, and Long Island. Attendees included principals and assistant principals, school board presidents, regional leaders of school programs and youth agency directors.

As a result of this conference, at least ten schools in the greater New York area have shown considerable interest in establishing TM programs for their students. At the end of the conference, the Deputy Counsel of the Department of Education stood up and said that every school should have TM without delay. She is working to help arrange funding. And the Coordinator for External Programs for 147 of the New York City schools in the vicinity of the World Trade Center said that special government funds for children traumatized by 9/11 might be available to fund TM programs.

Even more news coverage will appear on April 2, when the American Journal of Hypertension publishes exciting new research showing that Transcendental Meditation lowers hypertension in adolescent students. A second major press conference will be held on April 2 in Los Angeles to announce these findings, with Oscar-nominated film director David Lynch and actress Laura Dern joining the speakers’ panel.

The New York press conference and education conference were initiated by Janet Hoffman of the New York City Maharishi Vedic School and co-organized by Ms. Hoffman; the national media team at Dr. John Hagelin’s Institute of Science, Technology, and Public Policy; and the New York Committee for Stress-Free Schools—a coalition of educators and parents of NYC students. In addition to student presenters from Maharishi School in Iowa and Lawrence Woodmere Academy on Long Island, panelists included:

Janet Hoffman
Chair, Committee for Stress-Free Schools,
New York City

Richard Beall, Ph.D.
Director, Carolina International School, Charlotte, NC

Carmen N’Namdi
Co-founder and Principal of Nataki Talibah Schoolhouse of Detroit;
Chair of the Board, National Charter Institute; and Member of the Board of the Michigan Association of Public School Academies

Rita Benn, Ph.D.
Director of the Education Department of the Center for Complementary
and Alternative Medicine at the University of Michigan

Gary P. Kaplan M.D., Ph.D.
Director of Clinical Neurophysiology at North Shore University Hospital, and Clinical Associate Professor of Neurology at New York University School of Medicine

Jane Roman Pitt
Senior Fellow at the Institute of Science, Technology and Public Policy,
Fairfield, Iowa

Nellie LaGarde
Manager of Education Programs, Civic and Community Relations, DaimlerChrysler

Brian D’Agostino, Ph.D.
Mathematics and social sciences teacher at Humanities Preparatory Academy in New York City, and United Federation of Teachers chapter leader

Inspired by the success of the New York City conference, TM Program Centers around the country have asked Dr. Hagelin’s Institute and the New York City Maharishi Vedic School for help in establishing local Committees for Stress-Free Schools and in gaining press coverage for these efforts.

We congratulate all the speakers and students who participated in the New York City conference, and we look forward to reporting more good news to you in the weeks ahead.