School Starts Too Early

K. Meinecke, Staff Writer

Everyone knows that getting up early in the morning before school is a pain, but are teens just complaining to complain? Research says no. Sleep experts, national organizations, and statistics all agree that that the average high school start time does not pair well with the average teenage brain. Research done by Nationwide Children’s Hospital states that teens “need between nine and nine and a half hours” of sleep. However, this is practically impossible because of all the pressure on students to complete their responsibilities such as receiving highs A’s on homework and participating in sports activities. Not to mention, all while maintaining an active social life. So what’s the solution? Well, a later school start time may be the perfect way to get teens the extra sleep they need and improve their grades at the same time. UME student Brook Vitovsky agrees that school should start later because “studies show that people’s minds don’t actually function till 10 a.m. so if we had classes after 10 a.m. we could learn more and not almost fall asleep.” An article published by Scientific American states that “delaying start times raises attendance, lowers depression rates and reduces car crashes among teens.”

So what’s the holdup? Well, many adults argue that high schoolers need to learn how to wake up early and work hard because that is how their jobs will be in the future. Still, would it not make more sense to have a classroom filled with responsive and receptive students who are willing to learn rather than a class practically made up of tired mindless zombies? Rachel Hinsley, a UME student explains, “ It would be great if students could get the amount of sleep they need to be able to function properly. I think it would be a much better situation for everyone.”