by: SETH HALL
Teachers are always complaining to students why they are “so tired” and to “get their heads off the desk.” Students are always coming to school forgetting work at home and are mostly too lazy to do classwork. In the 2011 and 2012 school year, only 17.7% of the high schools and middle schools start school at 8:30 a.m. and nearly 40% start school at 8 a.m. The most schools in California start at an average time of 8:07am. Kids need more than 8 hours of sleep to be able to listen and be interactive in class, according to the article, “Why School Should Start Later in the Day” that was published in the Los Angeles Times, dated Sept. 18, 2016.
These late start times don’t just help the students get more sleep, it can save the schools a lot more money. The attendance rate would also shoot up. Students would feel more energized to go to school and not always have baggy eyes when walking into class. Also, with later school starts, kids would be able to stay up a little longer to finish extra homework and studying, so the majority of the class would probably have their homework done. Financial officers have estimated that with just 1% of boosted attendance, they would bring in $40 million per year; just 1%!
Athlete’s need their rest as well, probably more than most suspect. Teenagers with far less sleep before gamedays and practices are more likely to get injured. In North Carolina studies show that more than a quarter of injured high-school athlete’s missed at least one week of playing time and less than 20% require the emergency room.
The article also stresses that car wrecks are a huge cause to teenagers not getting enough sleep. Teenagers and also young adults are involved in more than half of drowsy driving accidents. Insurance for cars shot up dramatically at a rate of 62% in just one year after the claim. An annual societal cost is $109 billion.
Lisa Lewis, author of this article, states that if teens only got at least eight hours of sleep a night, the majority of these problems. Unfortunately, school districts find too many obstacles to the change to make it worth their while. They state it is not cost efficient to change the start times, but that is nothing in comparison to what they would gain.