Change In School Times

Aubryn Peterson, Staff

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You drag yourself out of bed in the morning, basketball and homework caused you so much stress last night you couldn’t fall asleep until eleven o’clock. You have an essay to write for language arts and you should’ve studied for the math test today. During the test your mind and body are begging to go back to bed and to close your eyes but you fight the urge and write down the equations for the last four problems of the math test even though you know they’re wrong. 

Students all across the country including this very school have to wake up before sunrise to get ready for school unable to receive the eight hours of sleep most students deserve. The debatable topic of changing starting and ending times for schools are influenced by the school boards lack of flexibility to change, even though students, teachers, and parents will be benefitted by this. So what will you do to change the schedule?

The first side of this argument is focused on the benefits of changing school times to help students improve their ability to learn, parents to transport their child(ren) to school, and teachers to get ready for the educational lessons. Although middle to high schoolers are supposed to get eight hours of sleep school, extracurricular activities including sports, homework, family involvement, and stress leave a person to under seven hours of rest.    

“14 percent of miles driven by 16-17 year olds drivers occur between 9 pm and 6am, yet this time period accounts for 32 percent of fatal crashes,” said teendriversource.org on their website.

100,000 car crashes per year reported on the website of American Automobile Association(AAA) are caused by teenagers before the afternoon. Teenagers lives are at stake due to the early starts and fatigue they face daily, students get used to sleep deprivation and the adrenaline that pumps through their bodies in the morning to keep them awake but the adrenaline can’t last forever. Sleep deprivation can also cause the most deadly things teenagers face at this time, anxiety and depression which can lead to more serious and professional cases of death beyond car crashes.

Parents. Parents are our main source of transportation until we are able to drive ourselves to personal activities, while we have parents we play by their rules. Students have reported coming to school late because parents are not ready at the early hour of school. Later start times may make students unable to ride to school or have the opposite effect. A parent or guardian’s schedule is the cause of many absences or tardiness which affects a student just as much as sleep.  

Unfortunately the other side to this does not support a change in school times even though it benefits students. One explanation is a change in extracurricular activity timing which may overlap with schools timing, but a change in school times will change the times of school activities and most club sports base their times on school times. Besides a late start will give students and teachers more time to sleep in the morning. Elementary, middle, and high school change in school times would cause problems with driving bus routes, but they wouldn’t because if you are changing times overall then it would have the same schedule just different timing like the schools.

Students need to act on the matters of changing school times or they will suffer from exhaustion and stress. Talk to an administrator about your agreement with the situation and how school times affect your school schedule already.