School Starting Time Debated


The American Academy of Pediatrics recommended last month that high schools and middle schools should start no earlier than 8:30 to allow students to get more sleep, but most Rio students students oppose the proposal.

According to research cited by the Academy only one teen out of 10 gets enough sleep every night. Despite this fact, students say that they would rather forgo extra sleep in the morning than change their after school activities.

In January of 2013, Rio voted on this issue but it was unsuccessful.

Issues where students, like yourself, are not fully aware of what they are being taught while they are still tired. This is a controversial topic affecting students and what their purpose in school is, to become educated. If kids don’t fulfill their purpose this will cause teachers to not be able to do their job efficiently. After all, what is a classroom without the children?

Being able to get that extra hour of sleep will be a great benefit to everyone. The early risers have benefits too, they can get a good nights sleep and finish their homework in the time they have before school starts. Students getting an extra hour of sleep will also let them lower the stress of staying up really late because of homework, and homework consumes students when they also must complete extra curricular and chores etc.

Teens happen to have “unique sleep rhythms” and which cause difficulties for falling asleep and waking up. There are many other issues with sleep deprivation. Sleep researches have said that most teens don’t easily fall asleep until 11 pm. The National Sleep Foundation says that teens need about 9 hours and 15 minutes of sleep each night to function the best.

Rio Americano junior Emily Sanchez stated that it’s a good idea, but only if school gets out at 2:50 and not later. “I wouldn’t want school to get out later because that cuts into time for after school activities, which means we start homework even later and stay up later trying to get it finished”.

Emily is a busy teenage girl who loves her phone and social media especially twitter. “The only way I could fall asleep earlier than 11 is turning my phone off, which is rare”.

15% of U.S high schools start at 8:30 am or later, and about 40% start before 8 a.m. The issue has been bubbling in school systems around the country for several years. Dozens of districts are changing the time with benefits of improving academic performance and drop in tardiness. Yet, many districts are declining it because of scheduled afterschool activities and school bus problems, and there are many teens that disagree with this controversy.

Sophomore student Ethan Dang stated that he does not like the idea of school starting at 8. “I would rather have school start earlier because it would give us more time for whatever we want to do after school”. Rio Americano has many school activities, especially sports, so school starting later and ending later effects not only their social life, but their sports career. “I’m always on twitter at night and I end up falling asleep around midnight or 1 am.”

Studies show that 1 out of 10 teens actually get 9 hours of sleep, while the rest of us are sleep deprived. So why should we sacrifice our education skills just because we can’t get enough sleep?

However, many teens state that the teachers are another reason why we aren’t getting enough sleep, because of the large amount of homework assigned. Sophomore Max Johnson said “If teachers gave us less homework, than I would prefer to go to school later and get out later, and I would feel more refreshed and actually ready to learn.” All around, you can see students in the morning walking like zombies dreading to go to class, and that’s not what we want.

So what’ll happen now? Will the school board listen to the kids opinions since many vote no to this issue, or will they go ahead and do it since many times they tried to succeed but failed? We’ll just have to wait and see.