School starting times are fine now; dont make them later
- Natalie Cassidy
- Lake Oswego Review - Opinion
Have you ever heard of the old adage, 'you snooze, you lose?' Well, that's the main concern for many when they hear that some school districts are trying to push back school starting times so teens can get more sleep. Schools are worried that teens aren't getting enough sleep so they are proposing later school start times. Some schools are pushing for start times as late as 10 o'clock in the morning. Many people disapprove of this plan for a number of reasons. School districts should not push for a later school start time because it will cause a number of problems for both teens and their families.
One reason to avoid a later starting time is because teens wouldn't have the chance to do after school activities such as sports, clubs, jobs and homework. There would be less time for clubs after school and limited outside activities due to less daylight. There wouldn't be as much time for homework, which means that students might have to do homework in the morning as well as the evening. Since I am a student myself, based on personal experience, this would be a very bad idea. Nobody likes doing homework in the morning. Your brain just isn't ready to function that early in the day. Later school start times would also put limits on after school job opportunities. 17-year-old Tia Hung from Arkansas says she hasn't been able to earn money tutoring at a nearby elementary school since her school started having later start times.
Setting back start times would also be expensive for school districts and local taxpayers - and the costly issue is primarily transportation. Bus transportation already costs $685-735 per student per year for taxpayers. If bus schedules were pushed closer together, it would be even more costly. School districts just don't have enough money to buy new buses and hire new bus drivers. What's more, a percentage increase would be almost guaranteed for the 11 percent of tardy buses because the intervals between routes would be much smaller, which means a higher likeliness of delays during routes.
Students, especially adolescents, are notoriously undependable when it comes to establishing a regular sleep cycle. Studies prove that an irregular sleep pattern can backfire when it comes to performance in school and a person's overall well being. Having a later school start time opens the window for sleep irregularity even more, causing exactly what schools were trying to avoid in the first place - sleepy teens. Plenty of students attending schools with early start times get good grades already. A study conducted on a Minnesota school with later school start times showed no difference in overall performance during school.
The evidence proves that having a later start time will undoubtedly put limits on student's lives outside of school. It would reduce precious time used for after school activities, would be extremely costly, and it could be really difficult for families. Finally, the idea of having a later school start time is a poor idea because it is simply not compatible with the schedule that our society maintains on a daily basis. In conclusion, for all these stated reasons, I do not support later school start times.
Natalie Cassidy, Lake Oswego, is an eighth grader at Waluga Junior High School. She included in her opinion piece footnotes on the works cited.