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NYC Mayor Adams Criticized for ‘Mindful Breathing’ Mandate Amid Academic Challenges and Crime Concerns


New York City Mayor Eric Adams has faced criticism for his decision to require schools to implement “mindful breathing” exercises as students continue to struggle academically. Critics argue that the focus should be on addressing learning loss and improving academic performance, rather than introducing breathing exercises. The announcement comes as national reports indicate a decline in reading and math scores among students. While some see the potential benefits of mindfulness practices, others question their place in schools and suggest addressing more pressing issues.

1. Mandate for Mindful Breathing:

Mayor Eric Adams announced that public schools in NYC would be required to conduct two to five-minute breathing exercises each day for students in Kindergarten through 12th grade. The goal is to help students cope with daily stress.

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2. Criticisms of the Mandate:

Critics, including co-host Kayleigh McEnany, have expressed skepticism about the breathing exercises, particularly in light of students’ academic struggles post-pandemic. Some view the mandate as a pet project of Mayor Adams, rather than a focused effort to address educational challenges.

3. Academic Concerns:

Recent national reports indicate a decline in reading and math scores among students, reaching their lowest levels in decades. Critics argue that more emphasis should be placed on in-class instruction, one-on-one support, and literacy programs rather than implementing breathing exercises.

4. Crisis of Literacy:

Some commentators, including Fox News contributor Raymond Arroyo, argue that the focus should be on improving literacy rates and providing targeted interventions. They express concern that incorporating breathing exercises into the literacy curriculum may divert attention from addressing the literacy crisis.

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Credits: DepositPhotos

5. Absenteeism and Academic Progress:

The New York Post highlighted chronic absenteeism as a significant issue in NYC public schools, urging Mayor Adams to prioritize tackling this “real crisis.” Absenteeism rates, particularly in minority communities, have surged during the pandemic, leading to profound impacts on academic progress.

6. Supportive Perspectives:

Supporters of the breathing exercises suggest that they could positively impact students’ mental health and potentially address violence in schools. They argue that mindful breathing practices can help students calm down, improve focus, and create a better learning environment.


Mayor Eric Adams’ mandate for mindful breathing exercises in NYC schools has drawn criticism amid concerns about academic performance and crime. While some see potential benefits in terms of mental health and reducing violence, others believe the focus should be on addressing the educational challenges students face, such as learning loss and literacy rates. The debate highlights the need for comprehensive approaches to education that prioritize academic achievement while also considering students’ well-being.

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Monica Balmes is a talented copywriter with a passion for creating engaging and informative content.