In Kingston, Jamaica, students “fight to keep themselves alive,” says Margaret Brissett-Bolt, the big-hearted principal of Holy Trinity High School, in an extraordinary new video. As one of her country’s leading educators, she has seen too much “violence, poverty, lack of hope. It pains my heart when I see these students who are full of everything, with so much potential to do so well, but they don’t see it. Their dream is not there.”
When Father Peter, a Jesuit priest and close friend, told Brissett-Bolt about the Transcendental Meditation® technique, she was skeptical. “In Jamaica, the word meditation is not a good word!” she laughs. “But if this can help the students, let’s do it.”
The effects have been phenomenal. “We took all of the lowest performing students and put them into one special class” that learned the TM technique, reports Brissett-Bolt. “That class is now above the highest-performing class that we had.”
Students have reduced their fighting and antisocial behavior by over half, and they’ve discovered a deeper sense of themselves and their creative worth.
“I feel really different,” says Dana, a 4th-Form (10th-grade) student. “I am happier, my mind is clearer, I can do my work better, and I feel better about myself. I am also more perceptive.”
“We took all of the lowest performing students and put them into one special class” that learned the TM technique. “That class is now above the highest performing class that we had.” —Margaret Brissett-Bolt
Says teacher Lisa-Ann Todd, “I am overwhelmed by the diversity and creativity that spontaneously flowed out of my class. They are drawing on deeper levels of knowledge, integration, and understanding. They are working together spontaneously in a way I hadn’t seen before from kids at this school.”
“We have to show the rest of Jamaica that change has come,” says Brissett-Bolt, a former official of the Ministry of Education. “I do believe that change begins right inside of you.”