By: Meadow Borlik
School starting times have always been a problem for middle and high school students. Most schools start at 7am, leaving students with about one hour at least to be prepared and ready for school. With this starting time, many kids are limited to certain activities that must be done in the morning in order to have a good, healthy day. In order for students to have a successful day at school, there must be a change in school start times.
With the school starting times, kids are left with very little time to be ready and out the door being rushed unless the have gotten eight hours of sleep the night before, which most without students don’t achieve. According to the National Sleep Foundation, only 15% of students say they’ve gotten a full eight hours of sleep, leaving 85% of students with less. Some may argue that students should go to bed earlier if this is such a problem, but with the trouble of getting enough sleep, comes the trouble of being able to finish the homework and classwork students get from there multiple teachers. Not only does the excessive school work guarantee students to miss a good time to go to bed, but it also keeps many students up late at night and leaves them going to bed in the am.
On Dr. Craig Canaparis website, he explains and incident where a teen came in claiming he had insomnia. The student then explained that by the time he finished his homework, it was 12am, and school for him began at 7am leaving him 6 hours to sleep before he had to get up and get ready for school. The student, like many others, also participates in after school activities and usually doesn’t start doing his homework till around 6:30. With the excessive school work and limited amount of time to finish it, we end up with sleep deprived students. Sleep deprivation is something that can be found in a lot of high school students and is something that needs to be focused on. According to CFAH, sleep deprivation can cause daytime drowsiness, headaches, depression, and poor performance at school. With all of these problems in hand, when there was a possible chance school times could change, many students were in favor. The school starting times would be beneficial to students nationwide. When students at Hammond were asked how they feel about the topic, they had some pretty good responses. “They need to be pushed back” says Iman Tura, a 9th grader at Hammond High School about the current school starting times. A time change for all Howard County public schools is what the students need. “A lot of them are sleep deprived. Sometimes we like to do homework in the morning before school.” Not much of a time change is needed to fulfill the simple needs of Hammond Students. “8:30 maybe” was the time Iman suggested. When talking to the students at Hammond, we got learned of there horrible sleeping patterns as well due to the excessive homework and early starting time. “Oh yeah all the time. I might miss homework sometimes.” was the response to how her homework and affects her sleeping patterns.
The responses we have received from our students at Hammond have a simple solution. With a change in the school starting time, we are benefiting students throughout the county.