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21% of teen motor vehicle accidents are caused by drowsy driving. Drowsy, exhausted students are often complaining about their school start times being way too early. Because they have to wake up so early, it makes the school day very exhausting for them. Teen tiredness is now considered to be a public health pandemic. School starting at a later time is beneficial because it helps students catch up on sleep, it helps students stay out of trouble, and it helps students’ ability to learn. (5)
One reason school times should start later is because it will help students catch up on sleep. “Sleep deprivation has become virtually epidemic among American teenagers. Research suggests that adolescents require about 8.5 to 9 hours of sleep, but according to the National Sleep Foundation, only 14% achieve this goal” (Peorgers 4). To not get the recommended amount of sleep causes a repercussion on the human body and brain. Lack of sleep increases students chances of depression and suicidal thoughts. It can also potentially weaken the immune system. The school day is hard enough on a child and not getting enough sleep does not make it any better. School starting later will benefit many teens on getting the rest they need in order to take on the challenging school day. There are 15% of schools in America that start after 8:30. Because those schools pushed back start times, it improved their students energy at school. Even pushing back the start time by just 30 minutes has helped a lot in students behavior. (9)
Another reason why school should start later is, it will help students stay out of trouble. “Later school days mean less unsupervised time for teenagers, meaning that bored youth would less likely to get in trouble” (Late 1). In some places, schools get out as early as 2:30. To get out that early leaves students with a lot of time on their hand. If school were to start at a later time, it would mean that it would end at a later time. This could potentially help students stay out of trouble. To decrease the number of hours students have after school, it will help them stay occupied with their education. (7)
“Grades would improve, it is argued, because teenagers seem wired to sleep in later and so would arrive at school less tired and more willing to learn” (Late 1). If students obtain the correct amount of sleep it is known to increase their ability to learn. Students will show up to school with a more optimistic outlook on their education. To not get enough sleep, students show up to school very irritable and in a bad mood. When irritable, it causes students to lash out at people who do not deserve it. And when everyone is irritable, school then becomes a negative place for students due to everyone’s grouchy attitude. In the classroom, teachers struggle to teach their students when all they see is eyes that are half open or eyes that are not open at all. (7)
Although there are many excellent and logical reasons as to why schools should start at a later time, there are also many logical reasons as to why it should not. “If students were to be pampered by a late school start, we would get a rather big shock when, further down the track, our employers would expect us to begin work at 8am” (Leave 7). For school to start later, it would mean the students with after school jobs cannot put in as many hours as they would be able to if the school ours were left alone. Students are also involved in sports that require after school practices. School getting out later means that practices will run later too. Because the practices would run late it would leave students less time to complete homework, not to mention the students who live out of town and have a long drive to get home. (5)
Students would greatly appreciate getting extra sleep even if it has it’s disadvantages. If all schools delay the school start times it will help students catch up on sleep. It will help students stay out of trouble. And last but not least it will help students and their ability to learn. For students to get the required amount of sleep it will decrease the number of motor vehicle accidents. All in all, delaying the school start time has proven to improve students’ school day. (6)
Boergers, Julie, and Brown University Child and Adolescent Behavior Letter. “Benefits of Later
School Start Times.” Academic Journal, vol. 31, no. 1, Jan. 2015, pp. 1–6.
“Late Start Times for High School Students Well Worth It.” Kitchener Post, 9 Apr. 2017.
“Leave School Hours Alone .” Waikato Times , 6 June 1997, p. 7.
“Starting School Later May Enhance Student Performance.” Independent School, 2010, pp. 11–11.