Later Start Time: Yes or No?

Over the past few years, a long debate has been going on whether or we should push the starting for high school back to later time.

Now this begs the question: Should we or should we not?

People in favor of a later start time argue that studies show that teenagers are more mentally active later in the day than they are early in the morning.

Now you don’t need a bunch of researchers to tell us we’re more tired early in the morning than we are early in the day. I took Astronomy first thing in the morning last year, and on a usual day, that class was dead silent. The teacher would ask us a question, and it would take a minute for someone to come up with a response.

Now fast forward to midday to the end of the day, like fourth or sixth period, and most class are pretty active.

Wyatt Brown, a Dimond senior, said, “I’m usually more active toward the middle of the school day. At the beginning of the day, I’m usually dead tired and just want to sleep. After lunch, I have more energy because I feel more awake, I get more work done then.”

Now on the other side of the argument the people against later start times argue that having a later start time means having a later end time, which can cause a few problems for people.

One problem with having a later start time can cause problems with sports, as most sports happen after school.

Jack Dolan, a Dimond freshman, said, “If we had a later start time, that means we will have to have practice later in the day. If we have practice later in the day, then we’ll have no time for other things like jobs or school work. I feel like it will be stressful if we try to cram everything into a small time frame for practice.”

A possible solution for this problem, though, would be to move practice to before instead of after school, freeing the time people have after school.

Another problem with a later start time is that some high schoolers have younger siblings in elementary school they have to watch after school.

Racquel Micheletto, another Dimond senior, said, “I have a younger sister that’s in elementary school. I get home before her, meaning I have to watch her at home because my parents are at work. If we had a later start time, then she would get home before me and be home alone for one to two hours. She can’t be home by herself, she’s only nine years old. Something could happen to her and I wouldn’t be home to help her because I’m still gonna be stuck in school. So I would rather keep going to school at the current time than have her be home without any supervision.”

You can also change the elementary school start time, but chances are, if you do change the change the start time, some parents will already be at work by then.

So should we move the start time of high school?

In my opinion, I don’t think we should change the start time for high school. To me, there are more cons than there are pros. Yes, it would be better for students if we started later, but we’ve been going to school early long enough to be used to it at this point.

And like I mentioned above, there would be too many problems with after school activities like sports and clubs, and students who have younger siblings.