Wellness Day to Address Hate Speech

In the wake of recent incidents concerning hate symbols and anti-semitism on campus, the school will host the second annual Wellness Day on Friday, October 25 during school hours. The program, entitled “The Truth About Hate,” aims to help students develop a better understanding of the impact of hate and bias on themselves and the school community.
Students will attend regular classes during periods 1 and 2, followed by an assembly program hosted by the Connecticut Anti-Defamation League (ADL) and break-out workshops led by specially trained faculty and students. There will also be videos, guided discussions, and an “open mic” segment in addition to the main assembly. Lunch and a post-assembly long advisory session will be included in the schedule. Director of Diversity and Inclusion, Dr. Rachel Myers, said, “A part of growing up and being a mature human being is knowing when to interrupt behaviors and hold yourself accountable. This mandatory assembly programming is important and not box-checking.”
The activities this year aim to help students understand the ways in which seemingly small acts of bias form a foundation for more serious acts of discrimiation and hate if not addressed in a community. According to the ADL’s website, “When we challenge those biased attitudes and behaviors in ourselves, others and institutions, we can interrupt the escalation of bias and make it more difficult for discrimination and hate to flourish.”
Dr. Myers, along with teachers such as Mr. Jared Hall, dean of academic life, and Mrs. Elizabeth Brown, director of events and special projects, is organizing the Wellness Day in collaboration with the Education Department of the ADL. Nearly 70 students and adults who were trained by the ADL will also play a large role by serving as group facilitators during different segments of the Wellness Day activities.
Students with thoughts or suggestions for future Wellness programming should reach out to Dr. Myers or Mr. McKibben, dean of community life.