Should High School Start Later?

(Photo Source: Pexels)

(Photo Source: Pexels)

Jack Foley, Writer

There is a popular argument that school should start at a later time for high school students. It’s a controversial topic, with pros and cons to both sides. 

For starters, a later start time would potentially mean more time for students to get sleep, which is extremely important in order to do well in school, sports, and other activities. However, some argue that a later start time would not change anything, and that students would just go to bed later and still not get enough sleep.

A high schooler should be getting around 9 hours of sleep. Most teenagers don’t even come close to that number. According to a study done by American Academy of Sleep Medicine in 2018, 73% of high school students across 30 states don’t get enough sleep at night.

Everyone knows the importance of sleep, especially in teenagers’ lives. Many students are told the reason they are so tired every day in school is because they need to go to bed earlier. However, there may be more to it than that. According to BBC, biologically, teenagers’ circadian rhythm (a natural cycle in the brain that regulates sleep and repeats roughly every 24 hours) is biologically different from the norms of the social clock. This means that forcing teenagers out of bed can negatively affect their physical and mental wellbeing more than it does in other age groups.  

I created a survey, offered to all high school grades on whether or not school should start later. 86.7% of students, almost all, think school should start later than the current start time. Also, 46.7% of students, a large majority, believe that school should start at 8:00 A.M.

Mr. Casey, English teacher and soccer coach at Pentucket had some thoughts on the topic. “Are students ready to go at 7:30? No, absolutely not. They are for sure more alive at 8:30. In theory, I would say yes, but because there are a whole slew of other things that would happen if you do that, it just doesn’t seem practical.”

Junior at Pentucket, Kevin Reiter, said “I personally think that school starting later would be a good thing. Most of my friends, sometimes including myself, don’t have enough time to finish all of our homework and get enough sleep, especially when playing a sport. A later start time, I think, would be very beneficial to students.”

Another Pentucket junior student Trevor Cloutier said “I think school should start later. Most days, at 7:30 I am just not awake and ready to start my school day. I can see the thought process behind both sides of the argument, but from a student’s point of view, I would love a later start time.”

All things considered, the start time at Pentucket High School is a controversial topic, with mixed feelings all throughout the students and staff.