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Pushing Back School Start Time

By Mihika Badjate

Brrrrinng-Brrring. The jarring sound of your alarm shocks you out of a lovely dream, reminding you that it’s the start of yet another school day. It seems it was only a few seconds ago that you were struggling to keep your eyes open past midnight in order to finish up an essay due the next day.

Unfortunately, this is the daily struggle of most high school students. Enormous amounts of homework keep them up late at night and every morning they have to wake up early to get ready for school. While students should be getting over nine hours of sleep for their health, many get only seven or less. To remedy this, the idea of pushing back school start times has been thrown round. The idea would be to push it back by an hour, so schools would start at around 9/9:30am instead of 8/8:30am.

In theory, this would be perfect for students. They could go to sleep early at night, and use the extra hour in the morning when they are fresh and rested to finish up homework. In school, they wouldn’t be exhausted from lack of sleep and would be able to put their best work forward while understanding everything learned in class.

However, it would also present several problems. If school start time is pushed back, that means that after-school activities also end up being an hour late. Because of this, things like sports practices and play rehearsals would end up going as late as seven or eight in the evening, which would leave students with very little time to finish homework, participate in other clubs, and most importantly, have fun. Another issue with this plan would be the logistics of getting students to and from school. Many parents drop their kids to school on their way to work, but this may not be possible for many people if school started an hour later.

While pushing back school start time is theoretically a great idea, there are too many complications for it to really be effective. Instead, schools should consider other methods of reducing students stress, such as assigning less homework or implementing half days into the schedule.

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