Should the school day get a later start?

Bridget Sullivan, Watertown Splash staff

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Have you ever been way too tired to go to school? Well this could mean you’re not getting the sleep you need from the time you go to bed till the early time you have to get up for school.

The National Sleep Foundation has found research that typical teen- agers’ sleeping pattern is to stay up late and wake up late in the morning, therefore the early wakeup for school throws off the amount of sleep they need to function.

Other evidence states that teens are very sleep deprived. The National Sleep Foundation found that 60 percent of students under the age
of 18 complain about being tired, according to their parents, and 15 percent said that they have fallen asleep in class.

On April 2, 1999, Rep. Zoe Lofgren (Democrat, Calif.) brought up a congressional resolution to persuade some schools to put in later school starting times. This resolution, called the “ZZZ’s to A’s Act,” helps to influence schools to start no earlier than 8:30 a.m.

If you were a teacher, would you rather a student in your class falling asleep in your class, or complain that they are tired and don’t want to do the work you give them? Or would you rather have students come into school more rested and ready to work throughout the day?

This is also a compromise for the faculty at the schools, as well. Don’t teachers have to be in school a significant amount of time before the students? Well this could also mean they get more time to sleep before having to teach a bunch of kids.

When teachers are tired, they tend to be more aggravated, and can start the school day on a wrong note. When the teacher is mad, it rubs off on the students and they become in a bad mood — and maybe an even worse mood because they are tired as well, and vice versa — so the end result doesn’t work for anyone.

Speaking from my perspective as a student, I think a later school starting time could be a beneficial act for many students and teachers.

–March 2, 2017–

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