Dear Mr. President,
Take a moment to think about American schools. Good, right? Groups of young people gathered together to learn. As a high school student, please allow me to shed some light on this situation.
An alarm rings somewhere between four to six o’clock in the morning. You groan, roll out of bed, and shut off the alarm. Despite your burning, tired eyes, you know you can’t go back to bed. The night before, you had gone out to have dinner with your family for the first time in months and you didn’t get home until seven p.m. You remembered your homework and worked for hours to finish it, working until about ten o’clock before finally getting up to take care of your own needs, finally going to bed at around eleven. Can’t sleep? Awake until midnight. Get ready for school in the morning, leave the house between six and seven thirty. First period starts at 7:45. You forgot about a test in that class.
What I just described was my typical morning routine. Teenagers don’t get tired until around at least ten o’clock, leaving them unable to fall asleep before then. Most teenagers won’t go to bed until around eleven at least, leaving them with seven hours of sleep or less instead of the recommended eight to nine hours.
An action we could take is swapping the start times of high school and elementary schools. Pre-K to fifth graders normally wake up earlier, go to bed earlier, and most likely wouldn’t have an issue waking up early. Middle school would stay the same, yes, because the time isn’t that bad for them. High schoolers typically need the most sleep due to their biological clock. Sleep deprivation can impair a student’s ability to learn and solve problems as well as staying alert.
Thank you for listening,
Mr. or Mrs. Future President,
A simple high school student, Sarah.