Should Schools Start Later?

Kate Compton, Writer

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Nobody enjoys getting up at the crack of dawn and having to go to school early in the darkness of the morning. As we get older, it seems as if the start times get even earlier.
When we were in middle school, it wasn’t difficult for us to get us early in the morning because we all had unlimited amounts of energy and were not active enough to use up that energy. Now that we are in high school, and the school start times are even earlier, it’s even harder for us to get up in the morning because we are all growing. Starting school at 7:40 am makes it very difficult to concentrate, let alone stay awake.
If school were to start later in the morning, it would not only have a positive outcome for students, but might also possibly benefit the instructors and teachers.
This topic has long been argued by medical professionals, students and parents. According to _____________________, approximately 80% of schools start before 8 a.m. This early start leaves students sleep deprived and quite possibly more prone to health risks. “Students are being asked to function during their lowest level of alertness in the day and are also robbed of REM sleep,” according to The Division of Sleep Medicine at Harvard University Medical School.
Sleep deprivation among American teenagers is an epidemic. Only about one in 10 teens gets the optimum 8-10 hours of sleep per night, as recommended by pediatricians and sleep scientists. The public policy of starting school early is robbing children of their sleep. Many undesirable conditions that teens commonly exhibit, such as moodiness, irritability, laziness, and depression may be all caused by early start times, or at least an early start time could be a contributor to these conditions.
The American Academy of Pediatrics has recommended that middle and high school students start school at 8:30 am or later in order to provide students with the opportunity to be able to get the amount of sleep that is needed for their life stage.
Many parents disagree with this early start time due to financial reasons.   Earlier start times would require additional costs before and after school, due to the fact that daycare would be required as the parents would still theoretically be still at work.  Additionally, some argue that an early start time prepares children for the “real world” in the future, preparing them for entry into the workplace that starts at 8am in most instances.
Should Schools Start Later?