School start times should be switched

Melanie Macioce, Reporter

Every day, students and faculty in Big Spring are waking up too early in order to arrive at school on time.  The best way to solve this problem is to reverse elementary and high school start times.

Lauren Hetrick, a history teacher, has to wake up every morning at 4:30.   She states, “I constantly feel sleep deprived.”  Overall, sleep deprivation can lead to other health issues.  According to WebMD, long term loss of sleep can lead to problems like obesity, high blood pressure, depression, heart failure and an overall poor quality of life.  Hetrick also states that “sleep deprivation is part of being a teacher.” If school started at the elementary time of 9:15, high school teachers could squeeze in at least an extra hour of sleep.

The current school start can affect how many hours of sleep students are getting.  To be healthy, Nationwide Children’s website said adolescents should get 9 ½ hours of sleep.  However, the average teen gets 7 ½ hours of sleep.  According to a Today: Health and Wellness Article, sleep deprivation in teens can contribute to becoming overweight, depressed and the start of smoking, drug use and alcohol consumption .  Early school start times cause sleep deprivation. This again proves the point that high school should start later.

Finally, studies show that teenage students are not alert at 7:33.  Dailymail interviewed a neurologist about the benefits of starting school later.  Facts from this Oxford University Study state as children become older, the time they become fully awake starts later.  High school students start to become alert at times between 10 and 12, while elementary students are alert at 8.  Once again, this shows why elementary and high school start times should be flipped.

In conclusion, the best way to solve the sleep deprivation problem is to reverse the elementary and high school start times.  Young children are alert earlier than adolescents. An early start time would be more natural for them.  High school students would be happier and healthier throughout the school year.  Students being more alert for classes would lead to improved absorption and retaining of daily lessons, which in turn can lead to improved test scores on regular classroom tests in addition to higher standardized test scores.  Overall, high school teachers and students will benefit from a later school start time.