School days should start later

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The clock ticks during the morning’s early hours (BluePrints Photo/Dustin Braden).

Elijah Smith

BY ELIJAH SMITH (’18)

STAFF MEMBER

Most kids have dozed off in class, or have found themselves not paying attention because they are tired. 39% of students surveyed slept 6 hours or less on a daily basis according to School Start Later, a group of qualified officials determined to get students the sleep they need. Most think that teenagers should get 8 hours of sleep a night, the facts are that most of high school students do not.

A solution to this problem of sleep deprived teens is to push back the school start time. The average public high school starts at 8:00. Pushing the start time back to 9 or 10 would allow for kids to get the valuable sleep they need.

Teenagers should get 9 to 9.5 hours of sleep per night, according to Nationwide Children’s Hospital. The common misconception that teens should sleep 8 hours is wrong, they really need more than that, a lot more. Teenagers simply don’t have time to sleep for almost 10 hours a night. Most students who play sports or any extracurricular activity have practice after school for 2 to 3 hours. Then add 2 to 3 hours of homework at night, add in an hour to eat, shower etc. If they went right to sleep when they were done with that, then it would only be 8.5 hours of sleep. That’s simply not enough.

This would require the school day end at the relatively same time.

Some may argue that this will not give enough time for teenagers to learn. A lot of time at school is not spent learning; if schools could get only the learning done they could move the school starting time. A lot of the school day is sitting there or working on other work once you finish. Simplifying the school day would make every student more efficient and willing to work. This would allow schools to shorten the school day and class periods.

To make this change happen parents and students need to talk to administration and discuss making this change. To take it one step further anyone could start spreading word to the change or even showing the facts of lack of sleep to government officials.

Starting school at 10 o’clock would be hard to do. School administrators will likely be reluctant. Regardless, it would create a healthier, more motivated student and a better school environment.