Switching school start times lacks practicality

Starting+school+at+such+early+times+in+the+morning+forces+some+students+to+catch+up+on+much-needed+sleep+during+class.+Even+the+most+dedicated+pupil+can+fall+victim+to+drowsy+behavior+when+lights+dim+and+teachers+drone+on.+But+the+alternative-+starting+school+later-+may+cause+more+problems+than+benefits.

Kathryn Tenbarge

Starting school at such early times in the morning forces some students to catch up on much-needed sleep during class. Even the most dedicated pupil can fall victim to drowsy behavior when lights dim and teachers drone on. But the alternative- starting school later- may cause more problems than benefits.

Esther Pittinger

Look at any high school student and chances are there will be dark circles under their eyes. Sleep is a rarity in high schools, which often prompts the question: should they start later?

Some schools in the area have tried this change. Lakota West High School starts at 8:05 a.m, 45 minutes later than us. And that early, even 45 minutes can make a huge difference. The question would be if we should follow suit.

Teens naturally stay up and sleep in late- their bodies are programmed that way. Early school start times force us to ignore that programming. Essentially, we have to fight ourselves in the morning to even be awake.

“I have serious focus problems in the morning,” sophomore Morgan Comerford said. “Often I doodle in my notebook instead of taking notes, no matter how hard I try to pay attention.”

In the beginning of the day, some students might not be awake enough to draw. Heads resting on tables and drooping eyes are far more common than a scribbling pen, and if the lights go out, so will a student.

With this in mind, a solution would seem to be a necessity. But is making schools start later really the best one?

“It’s possible they could change [the start time], but it would take a lot of time and effort,” sophomore Priya Sakthivel said.

For instance, changing the start time would cause the need to change bus schedules. High school would likely start later than elementary school and bus routes would have to be changed to accommodate that, which would be no small feat.

“The idea of an early start time is nice, but it only leaves less time for activities and jobs outside of school,” senior Noah Pittinger said.

Later start times would leave students with too many activities and too much homework with less time for both. Getting home later leaves less time for homework, at least if you want to go to bed at a decent time.

Not to mention jobs revolve around the time schedule of adults, which starts just as early as high school.  Many students need part-time jobs, and switching the start time could cause conflict with that.

Sometimes a dream is better than the reality.