In the 2002-2003 school year, there were 41 murders in the neighborhood of Visitacion Valley Middle School. Young students were playing "cops and robbers" with real guns, and many suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder. In 2007, the principal instituted a program called "Quiet Time" to teach meditation to every student in the school, with dramatic results. Truancy rate fell by more than 7 percent (while the average for the State rose to 30 percent) and suspensions fell by more than 50 percent. Twelve minutes at the beginning and twelve minutes at the end of school day have given these children a coping mechanism to deal with the many stresses of poverty and violence in their lives.