WHS Participates in Disconnect and Reconnect Day

Students and Faculty Members Encourage Each Other to Limit Cell Phone Use

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WHS Participates in Disconnect and Reconnect Day

The WHS Pride Committee successfully led Disconnect and Reconnect Day.

The WHS Pride Committee successfully led Disconnect and Reconnect Day.

Charlotte Clarke

The WHS Pride Committee successfully led Disconnect and Reconnect Day.

Charlotte Clarke

Charlotte Clarke

The WHS Pride Committee successfully led Disconnect and Reconnect Day.

Ashley Kuropatkin, Editor-in-Chief

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On Oct. 29, WHS participated in Disconnect and Reconnect Day in order to recognize the negative effects of cell phone addiction. This is the first year that the school’s Pride Committee has organized a day encouraging the school community to reduce their cell phone use.

“The Pride Committee feels that this can help our school culture and also our community by being more present with people instead of burying your face in your phone,” head of the Pride Committee, David St. Martin, said.

WHS strives to incorporate its core values into interactive activities involving both students and faculty members. For each month of the school year, the Pride Committee will set a goal that is to be honored by the school community, in order to improve the school’s culture. The month of October celebrated Respect as its goal, yet Disconnect and Reconnect Day was able to embody all five of the school’s core values: Positivity, Respect, Integrity, Drive and Empathy. Disconnect and Reconnect Day exemplifies how members of the school community should respect each other by limiting cell phone use and being present in the moment.

“Our hope is that this day will bring awareness to the entire school community and how prevalent cell phones have become; the amount of time we spend on our phones, how distracting they are, and how addicted we all have become, especially when it comes to social media,” Principal Stephen Imbusch said.

Studies conducted by Harvard University estimate that adults spend anywhere between two to four hours a day using their cell phones. According to this research, many people can infer the amount of time students spend on their phones, instead of doing homework, studying, socializing with friends, or even spending time with their family.

“We wanted to try to get students to cut down their screen time for the whole day. We find that kids are spending up to eight hours a day on their phones, which is a full time job,” St. Martin said.

March 1 is the National Day of Unplugging, which is a 24 hour global respite from technology. WHS participated in a schoolwide Disconnect and Reconnect Day in order to prepare for the nationwide day.

“We [wanted Disconnect Day] to be optional for students and staff to participate [in], and basically just have students be conscious of how much they are on their phones and to be more present in the moment with other people,” St. Martin said. “Maybe in March, we will ask students to leave their phone at home or even power it off all day.”

Over the summer, the Pride Committee came up with monthly goals for the school community. During these meetings, the idea for Disconnect and Reconnect Day was created, and the committee hopes to make this day an annual school tradition.

Many people—including students and staff—miss out on important moments due to the prevalence of cell phone use. Disconnect and Reconnect Day highlights the negative effects of cell phone addiction, along with the importance of respecting members within the school community.

“We need to be more conscious of our cell phone use and more mindful of being present in the moment,” Imbusch said.