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English IV - School Should Start Later

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Ghaya Almarzooqi

Mrs. Paris Miller

English IV

27 November 2016

Why change?

Elementary students head to school with the activeness of bumblebees, while teenagers start their days as walking zombies. To both, the bumblebees and zombies, school plays a role in their future. For that, all accouterments that weigh it down should be eliminated. One of the accouterments is middle and high schools’ early timings. Most schools start early in the day, typically at 8 am, to give students the chance to participate in activities after school. Yet, teenagers find it a hassle to perform so early. Therefore, middle and high school should start later during the day since it is more beneficial for teenagers.

Stereotypically, teenagers start their mornings unmotivated and it becomes difficult for them to stay focused while fighting the urge of falling asleep. Studies show that 28% of students say they fall asleep in class at least once a week (Consumer Affairs.). This teenage behavior is commonly mistaken as a matter of attitude, when in reality; it’s a matter of human biology. Typically, when children enter puberty they undergo a shift in sleeping patterns (McCoy). This shift causes teenagers to staying up later at night and waking up later in the morning. As a result, teens force themselves to bed without getting the 9½ hours needed of sleep for proper mind and body development ("Sleep in Adolescents"). Moreover, lack of sleep impairs school performance in many ways, including reduction of concentration (McCoy) and weakness of school performance. Since teenagers become fully alert later in the evening, (McCoy) most teens consume unhealthy doses of caffeine to keep up with school’s early timings. The excessive use of this drug may lead to many negative consequences, such as preventing teens from attaining the essential nutrients for healthy physical development (Newport Academy). While education is undoubtedly crucial, teens’ health should be the priority. Alternatively, if school were to start later on the day, school timings would be corresponding with teenagers sleeping patterns and students would be naturally alerted.

If school started later in the morning, subsequently, it would end later in the afternoon. Delaying the timings of teens arriving home reduces the likelihood that they would spend their afternoon alone, and could decrease the possibility that teens would engage in bad behavior. Experiencing new things is normal for teenagers and it may involve misbehaviors. When teens are left home alone, they are more likely to get bored and seek for thrilling, possibly unsafe, experiences. If students are at school while their parents are at work, then they are protected and parents’ anxieties are eased.

As a result of moving middle and high schools timings, bus-students would spend less time stuck in traffic.  A survey by Arkansas Department of Education shows that the amounts of time students ride school buses can reach up to 2½ hours (Dover). On the other hand, if middle and high schools started later during the day, traffic would reduce. Hence, students would spend less time on the bus. In addition, moving middle and high school timings would require fewer buses, drivers, and supervisors. By this efficient way to run the bus systems, schools would save money with just a change in the order of pickups.

The antagonistic viewpoint states that delaying school timings wouldn’t allow students to participate in extracurricular activities. If school ended late, they believe, students would rush to their houses without the chances of participating in after school activities. However, the importance of students’ performance in school outweighs the importance of extracurricular activities. If school timings don’t correspond with teenagers sleeping patterns, then students would spend their afternoons with either understanding the concepts from the class that they couldn’t focus on or with napping.



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