Should School Days Start Later?

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Should School Days Start Later?

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Imagine waking up early in the morning and putting two different shoes on, with no time to fix your hair. You run out the door, hoping you make it to class on time. Then, with five minutes left until the first bell, you get stuck at a red light, and it feels like you are waiting for hours. You remember that you left your homework at home and have no money for lunch. You forgot to charge your tablet last night and realize that your shirt is on backwards. That is the life of a teen.

Waking up early for school is one of the many struggles of being a teenager. At LHS, first period starts at 7:30 AM, and extra help starts at 7:00 AM. Why start school so early? Why not start school later in the day? If you noticed any of your classmates yawning in class today, they were likely up late last night. Teens typically go to sleep around 11:00 PM or later; this is due to the massive amount of homework they have each day, along with afterschool activities, sports, and other extracurriculars. Isabella Sferrazza, sophomore, explained that “…students work hard until late in the evening preoccupied with their activities and sports or homework assignments.” Sferrazza added, “I think they would be much more productive if they got enough sleep and had a later start.”

Studies show that lack of sleep can result in high rates of obesity and depression. An article by Emily Richmond in The Atlantic (theatlantic.com) entitled “Why Should School Start Later in the Morning” discusses a researcher’s study on 9,000 students at eight different high schools in Minnesota, Colorado, and Wyoming. The researchers found that “…shifting the school day later in the morning resulted in a boost in attendance, test scores, and grades…Schools also saw a decrease in tardiness, substance abuse, and symptoms of depression.” Elizabeth DiFiore, a sophomore, said, “I believe that class starting so early in the morning is not beneficial for our physical and mental health. Most high school students are getting to bed by midnight or later. It is crazy to ask us to wake up early, come dressed and ready to learn on almost no sleep.”

School is very overwhelming for teens across the country. Teens must attend school and get a proper education. However, teens’ mental and physical health is important, too! If adjusting school hours will help teens improve in their grades, and more importantly, their health, then that is a sacrifice schools should make.