Why Middle and High Schools Should Start Later

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Squidward understands the importance of a little sleep.

Teenagers usually fall asleep in class, or can’t focus on their work because of how tired they are. This is a reason why I think school should start later. Many high schools in the United States start at around 8-8:30am. Teenagers need more sleep than they are getting, having to wake up so early for school. Scientists suggest that school should start around 10-11am so teenagers get a good night’s sleep, and are ready for school. Here are a couple reasons why I agree that school should start later.

The first reason is teenagers would get out of school roughly when their parents get off of work. It would make getting out of school a lot easier for everyone. If somebody lived too far from school to walk, and couldn’t take the bus, what would they do? It takes time out of parents’ days when these types of things happen. Making school start later would make it easier for parents who don’t want to or can’t leave work.

The second reason is teenagers need more sleep than adults or children. Teenagers are supposed to get 9-10 hours of sleep, but the majority of teens are getting around 7 hours or less. Studies show that teenagers who get less than 9 hours of sleep, are more likely to become depressed and have high anxiety levels. Teenagers are also more prone to stunted brain development, and maturation. Unlike popular belief, people can’t “catch up” on sleep over the weekend. They may feel fine but their problem solving skills are slowly falling through the cracks.  

The third reason is that most teens fall asleep in class, altering their academic success. Teenagers aren’t usually morning people, and having to get up at 6 or 7 to be on time for school takes a toll on the student. Most teenagers rely on caffeinated drinks to stay awake. While caffeine does help people stay awake, it’s not very good for people’s general health. Too much caffeine for teenagers can cause jitteriness, nervousness, headaches, and increased blood pressure.

The last reason is that the school the student is going to will be losing money. Schools in the United States make money from how many students there are and how often they are there. If school started later, the more people would come to school. Thus making it so the schools get more money, from less absences. “I would love it if school started later so I could sleep longer.” says Maria C., a Kraemer Middle School student. Making school start later does have some cons, such as not a lot of time for extracurricular activities after school, but I believe there are more pros than cons. In the long run, I think it would be beneficial for students, parents, and schools if school were to start later.

  1. https://ww2.kqed.org/learning/2016/09/02/should-schools-start-later-to-improve-academic-performance-2/
  2. http://choices.scholastic.com/story/should-schools-start-later
  3. https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/post/sleep-deprivation-and-teens-walking-zombies/2012/03/10/gIQAr0QP3R_blog.html
  4. http://www.theatlantic.com/education/archive/2015/08/why-school-should-start-later/401489/
  5. http://www.latimes.com/opinion/op-ed/la-oe-lewis-school-too-early-20160918-snap-story.html