Should School Stay Early?
As the new school year begins, millions of teenagers will once again find themselves struggling to wake up early in the morning so as to get to school on time.
However, recent concerns regarding the lack of sleep most adolescents receive has had some people calling for school to start later. They are saying that a later start to school will ensure kids getting enough sleep, helping them focus and stay awake during school hours. However, will a later school day really be helpful or will it cause even more problems. It has been scientifically proven that teenagers are not morning people. They have a biological tendency to stay up at night and sleep later in the morning.
It has also been proven that teenagers are falling short of the eight hours of sleep they are supposed to be getting. With the large numbers of students dozing off during class or else loading up on caffeinated beverages so as to stay awake, many doctors have become worried about their health, urging school officials to push back the time school starts. The only problem is, that’s much easier said than done. Starting school later means a lot more than just acquiring some extra sleep. It means changing a teen’s whole schedule, which in many cases may be nearly impossible. Students who rely on their parents for transportation to school may have difficulty getting to school at a later hour if their parents work.
In many cases, parents drop their children off at school even earlier than when it starts. This would leave a large percentage of students virtually unaffected by the later times because they would still be reliant on transportation only available to them early in the morning. Another major problem would be the fact that at later start results in a later end. If school gets out later, students who are involved in other activities will be busy until much later than they are currently. This leaves children arriving home later and eating dinner later, which poses its own health risks.
This would have a negative effect on working teens as well. Due to child labor laws, minors cannot work past a certain time at night, causing students who work to lose hours in which they could be available. Also, during the winter when it gets dark out earlier students would be left commuting home in the dark which could be potentially dangerous. Earlier start times for schools could also be expensive. Schools would need to stay open later at night o as to accommodate all the later activities taking place. However, they may also still need to remain open early in the morning for students who must be dropped off early.
This means the school would be open much longer, resulting in larger electrical and heating bills. Also, because sports teams would be practicing in the evening, schools would need to invest in lights on their fields. Despite the problems associated with waking up early, the school time should remain the same. Making things later will only cause inconvenience to students, parents, and school administrations alike. So while it may seem extremely unpleasant to have to wake up early in the morning, in the long run, it’s better for everyone.