Dear, Future President
My name is Peter and I am an exhausted 15 year old high school student, just like the hundreds of thousands of other teenagers attending high school I feel like a zombie wandering from class to class. Students around the nation and I are awake well before dawn and well past
dusk, our bodies can not operate properly under these circumstances. Most students need to be awake by at least 6:30 am to be on time for a 7 o'clock ish school start then with a 2 o’clock ish school end plus additional extracurricular activities and social events along with almost guaranteed homework it is unrealistic if not impossible to expect students to have a healthy sleep schedule. The current school schedule eliminates a high schooler's ability to thrive in the classroom and other aspects of life.
To begin with, highschoolers are not biologically fit to begin school so early. Countless studies have made it clear that the body's biological clock plays a big role in sleep. The biological clock is essentially what time the body wants to fall asleep and wake up, “The sleep study at Brown University shows that teens tend not to get sleepy until around midnight.”. Reliable studies have established teenagers need for sleep is at a later time of day which further proves my point early school starts set students up for failure. Teenagers’ biological clocks connect to less efficient students because a late bedtime plus an early wake up leads to sleep deprivation, “Studies have shown that missing out on sleep can cause people to lose their ability to think clearly and learn well.”. Studies have proven lack of sleep can diminish one’s ability to think which is exactly what is not wanted during a time period dedicated to learning. Through scientific research one can realize how affected everyone, especially teenagers is affected by sleep. School systems around the country need to recognize the importance of having a school schedule that complies with students’ biological clocks and how crucial a good sleep schedule is and the consequences of a poor sleep schedule if we want the future of our country to be able to learn in the best environment possible.
There are multiple positive reasons to convert to late start schools and very few reasons to remain in the debilitating type of school. Schools that have already made the smart decision and switched to a later school start have seen benefits that should convince the entire nation to make the switch. The most suspected benefit from the schools that experimented with a later school start is an increase in students ability to engage in class and perform better, “a survey of 7,000 students in Minnesota showed that students who started class after 8am performed better than students who started earlier.”. Students have responded to late start schooling in a positive manner which was completely suspected based on research. Along with the obvious benefit in the classroom, later school start has additional benefits like reduced car crashes when the student is driving to school at a later time (most likely due to the increased level of alertness sleep brings), “One study shows that students who drive to school later have fewer car crashes”. If later school starts is literally saving lives why isn’t the entire nation already starting school later? According to the evidence the time switch should have been made forever ago if the nation as well as you Mr/s. President want our youth to succeed in the classroom and ensure their safety.
My generation is the future of this country, which is exactly why you Mr/s. President need to take action and help us to succeed in all aspects of life, from grades to survival. In order to make this very necessary change certain school systems will need to endure some trial and error in order to find the best way to integrate the late start schooling on a national level. Individual school systems that are open to changing school start time should be experimented on to see what works best with busing and all the other variables that play a part in making school run efficiently. Over a long period of time the entire nation will be benefitting from the schools that work with the students’ needs to succeed. You must set the youth of our nation up for success, not failure. The youth holds our nation’s future in their hands.
Frost, Jo. "Slumber in short supply." USA Today May 2016: 50+. Student Edition. Web. 26 Oct. 2016.
"Should Schools Start Later in the Day?" Current Events, a Weekly Reader publication, 30 Apr. 1999, p. 3. Student Edition, go.galegroup.com/ps/i.do?p=STOM&sw=w&u=lom_accessmich&v=2.1&id=GALE%7CA54561266&it=r&asid=b0594294090b211deccb6cb0813278cc.
Gofen, Ethel. "Sleep: more than meets the (shut-)eye." Current Health 2, a Weekly Reader publication Jan. 1991: 4+. Student Edition. Web. 26 Oct. 2016.