ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) - A controversial meditation program connected to actress Goldie Hawn has made its way into an Albuquerque middle school, and not everyone likes the idea.
Some parents have opted to keep their kids out of the program, concerned about the spiritual aspects of the "quiet time" practice.
An Albuquerque Public Schools spokesperson says McKinley Middle School was only considering implementing the program before deciding to halt the curriculum altogether.
But parents and students say the program was up and running this week.
The mindfulness program is called "Mind Up."
In it students take time at the beginning and end of the day to focus on their breathing. According to students, a bell rings at the beginning of the exercise, then the whole school gets quiet.
"In the morning, we do the announcements, then we do the Pledge of Allegiance, then they say it's time for quiet time and the teacher tells the whole class to quiet down," says McKinley student Liz Hoefert.
Not everyone likes it.
The school gave a letter to parents on registration day announcing the new program. It asked for parental permission for students to participate.
Holly Holloman's son opted out. Holloman said the school didn't provide information on what exactly students would be doing.
"Reading that it was meditation time, I wanted to make sure that if there was a thread of spirituality, that whatever it was it was in line with our beliefs," Holloman said.
She said she didn't want the program thrown out of the school, she just wanted to make sure it was right for her son's beliefs.
Students report the meditations happened on Thursday and Friday, but Friday's meditation was cut short.
"The vice principal came out and he announced on the PA that we were ending quiet time, and until further notice we weren't going to be doing it," said student Robert Holloman.
Several parents opted to keep their students out of the program, but other parents don't seem to mind.
"I don't think it has any type of spiritual thing at all," said James Hoefert. "It's just something to keep the kids calm and reflecting on their day at the end of the day and the beginning of the day."
KRQE News 13 asked the district why a spokesperson said teachers were only training for the program, while students and parents said the meditations were occurring this week.
Spokesperson Rigo Chavez said that's what Principal Mary Kade told him.
Chavez also said Kade did not go through the proper channels for the new curriculum and that she could petition to use the program next semester.
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