Carson High Unplugged: School turning off devices

Carson High School student Carlos Torres creates a paper fish at an origami table during lunch period.

Carson High School student Carlos Torres creates a paper fish at an origami table during lunch period.

In a world infused with technology, Carson High School students are braving a challenge this week to get “unplugged.”

That means turning off phones, music players, and taking a break from social media inside and outside of the classroom.

Although this approach can’t be forced on students, the idea is to encourage them to connect with their surroundings by featuring sensory-focused lunchtime events, such as gardening, organized walks, art activities, and performances in Senator Square.

The campaign was organized by CHS’s Social Emotional Learning Committee.

“We want to invite everyone to experience this week,” said CHS teacher Emilee Riggin. “It’s more of a self-check exercise for students and it’s promoting the campaign with those activities.”

Even though some electronics are being incorporated with lesson plans in learning environment, the usage is still a concerning distraction, even at the student’s home.

According to a recent study by California State University, spending too much time on a cell phone can lead to stress and anxiety; the constant connection can lead to issues in mental health.

That incorporates with the usage of multiple social media platforms, linking to depression, anxiety, and difficulty forming connections, stated in a study by the University of Pittsburgh.

“Some students suffer from FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) because of what they see on social media,” said CHS Principal Tasha Fuson. “Some find themselves checking their phones at inopportune times, such as during a face-to-face conversation, walking down the halls or during class. Technology is a useful tool, and at the same time, when we rely too heavily on it, we lose connection with the world around us.”

Monday was dedicated to turning off cell phones and to enjoy a live performance by the CHS Orchestra in Senator Square, along with an option to fold origami in the North Foyer.

Some students found turning off their phone for a day was a challenge but at the same, they appreciated it.

“It’s our main source of communication,” said CHS junior Sophie Hassan. “There’s not much to talk about face-to-face anymore but there’s a world beyond the phone. Life would be more interesting without it and we should try it more often since we rely on it so much.”

But for students like Sy’Johnniqa Moore, also a junior, it was another day for her as she puts in her time practicing the viola in the school’s orchestra band.

“I hate being on my phone,” she said. “I just use it to keep in contact with others, like my mom and some friends. I’d rather do something productive.”

Tuesday was more of a homework challenge for students; the day was dedicated to taking a break from video game consoles. On campus, students were invited to listen to the CHS Jazz Band and start a gardening project.

Today, students are encouraged to leave their earbuds at home and listen to the Chamber Choir, followed by logging out from social media accounts for Thursday and watch a play performed by the Drama Club

By Friday, students will reboot their devices with performances by CHS Dance Ensembles, but also will have a chance to share reflections in Senator Square.

Tonight, CHS is hosting “Open House, Open Hearts,” a community event in celebration of back-to-school season, from 4:30-8 p.m.

More than 25 local community service providers will line the hallways of Senator Square and will highlight local activities, family friendly events and provide information and screenings for a variety of local health services.

Families will have the opportunity to sign up for library passes at the Carson City Library, become members of The Boys & Girls Clubs, learn about Carson City School District Nutrition Services programs and connect with affordable healthcare, vision and dental providers.

Attendees will enjoy treats donated by the CHS Culinary students, Sassafrass Eclectic Food Joint, Artisan Bakeworks & Café, LA Bakery Café, Reds Old 395 Grill and other local restaurants.


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