Should School Start Later?

Should School Start Later?

Anna Jackson, Writer

Most high school students can agree on one thing universally… school needs to start later. And it’s not just high schoolers that agree with this, hundreds of studies show that teenagers need all the extra sleep that they can get, and they don’t get the required hours when school starts at 7:30 am. 

When students are forced to come to school so early, it is more demanding for their brains to cope, resulting in lower test scores and higher depression rates.

As states, “Teens who don’t get enough sleep run a higher risk of being overweight. They also are more likely to suffer from depression or perform poorly in school. Sleepy teens also have a higher risk of being involved in a drowsy driving accident.”

As far as car accidents go, with so many young students driving to school so early, their brains aren’t fully awake yet resulting in higher wrecks. 

Teenagers are supposed to get at least 8 hours of sleep per night, however many teens struggle to meet the requirements and end up losing sleep and trying to catch it back up on weekends. However, catching up on sleep on the weekends doesn’t help when you are struggling in your classes, so it’s important that students can get enough sleep whenever they need it.

 For this to happen, teens need to have the option to sleep in later, so they don’t have to worry about it at night.

Passing laws so that schools start later is already going into effect, and states such as California, New York, Tennessee, and Alaska have already passed laws that make schools start later. 

High Schools in California aren’t permitted to start school until 8:30, and middle schools don’t start until 8:00. That allows students to wake up at 7:00-7:30, whereas high schools in Washington make students get up from anywhere from 5:00 – 6:00.

Schools that have switched to starting later have been seeing drastic increases in students’ grades, and mental health. 

Many states have switched the order around so that elementary schools start earliest and high schools start later. Elementary students have been proven to be more adaptable when waking up earlier, whereas high school students struggle with it. 

Asking high school students to be awake and fully functioning at 7:30 is just like asking full-grown adults to be up and awake at 5:00 AM. Since teens require more sleep, they need to get far more than adults.

Students who attend Tahoma High School, have opinions on the debate as well, 

As Maddie Gavino expressed, “I wish it would start at 8:00, I am very sleep deprived.”

Unfortunately, parents are worried about extracurricular activities going on too late and want school to stay the same so that schedules don’t coincide with each other, other parents are worried about their children’s sleep habits, and endorse the plan to start later.

However, in the end, it comes down to what the students want, and whether or not, lawmakers will approve the change.