Does School Start Too Early for High School Students?

How school is effecting your emotional, physical, and mental status

Abigail Medeiros, Staff Writer

Over the years, multiple students, parents, and even teachers have been questioning the start time for high school students. It has been a recurring debate within high schools across the nation. Many people would complain without evidence, but now scientists have come up with logical arguments as to why high schools start way too early. As teenagers get older, biological research shows that circadian rhythms increase. Circadian rhythms are physical, mental and behavioral changes that follow a roughly 24-hour cycle. It is a natural reaction for teenagers to sleep later and wake up later in the morning. With schools starting as early as 7:00, it has really thrown the circadian rhythms off track.

Usually parents, students, and teachers have come up with the same theory: the later the time, the better the learning improves. A recent studies shows that over 28% of high school students fall asleep during class. Also, 14% of students have been late or have missed school due to over sleeping. Multiple parents argue that although high schools do start too early, it is up to teens to get at least 8 hours of sleep. In North Carolina, school districts have later times for bus routes. The change in time resulted in improving grades for math and reading. Most students in North Carolina rose a half step of a grade. For example, students who received a B- in class, received a better grade, B. Students who go to school later, are more alert and ready to learn. With high schools starting too early, students may not be able to process information during the first few periods of the day. There have been multiple encounters that I’ve had over the years where I had to choose between eating breakfast and being late to school and every time I would choose not to be late to class. I find myself looking at the clock waiting for the lunch bell to ring, rather than paying attention in class. Although it is up to teenagers to get a decent amount of sleep, it is up to schools to recreate a healthy and nurturing time for learning.