Does School Start Too Early?

Owen Bargar, Journalist

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Does high school start too early? At HHS, school starts at 7:30 am. However, the PTO board will soon hold a vote to determine if the start time of school should be changed.

A group of parents and other adults associated with the township has been pressing this issue. However, the students who will actually feel the repercussions of this choice don’t quite have much of a say. We wanted to give them a voice, but the opinions are very mixed:

A poll on the Hamptonian’s Twitter showed that 56% of 121 people voted for new 8:30 start time of school, while 46% of people voted for the original 7:30 time.

In a live poll of students in 6th period lunch, 34% of the 146 people voted for the new 8:30 start time of school, while 66% want things to stay as they are. 

Bobby Oliver, a sophomore at Hampton High School, said, “I just want all my afternoon.” Many students fear that a later start time will result in a later end time, causing them less time in the afternoon for athletics, after-school activities, and homework.

 Terra Ziporyn Snider, co-founder and executive director at schoolstartlater.net, provides many different facts and statistics on why the later start time of school will help benefit students physically and mentally. Snider states “Moving school times is no guarantee teenagers will get the sleep they need, but not changing the time will guarantee most won’t.” She later states that she and her team of scientists such as Rafaeal Pelayo a Clinical Professor, Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences from Stanford collected evidence and show that a lack of sleep can cause “weight gain, eating disorders, increased risk of obesity, cardiovascular problems, and diabetes, reduced immunity, depression, anxiety, substance abuse, mood swings, behavioral problems, suicidal idealization, and potential impacts on brain development.” Although pushing back the school start time won’t mean all teenagers will get enough sleep, Snider still believes it will benefit most. 

Many members at schoolstartlater have PHDs and other degrees. The evidence they collected would lean ones opinion to start school later, but Ben Rost at spark.adobe.com believes otherwise. Ben believes if school starts later not all parents will be able to take their kids to school, bus routes & hours would have to be changed, causing problems in budget and traffic, and some teachers have after school jobs to make extra money.

Both sides of the argument provide both pros and cons, such as helping with performance and physical benefits although the loss of time in the afternoon. However, the start time of school is not a one-size-fits-all topic. Depending on the person, the idea of a new start time for school is overall based on you individually.