California is first to push back school start time

Student falling asleep in class due to sleep deprivation (Google)

By: Makena Viera | Writer

October 17, 2019

The day has finally come for students in the San Clemente community. It is the day in which kids no longer have to feel guilty about pressing the snooze button because as most are aware, every minute counts.

California has become the first state in the nation to push back middle and high school start times so students can get more sleep.

For public middle schools, class is required to start no earlier than 8 a.m. while it is mandatory for public high schools to start at 8:30 a.m. or later.

The current SCHS schedule, with school starting before 8:30 a.m. four out of five days of the week

Last Sunday, Governor Gavin Newsom officially signed legislation SB 328 to make these requirements law.

Although the law does not apply to optional early zero periods, the new start times will be put into effect July 1, 2022 for the 2022-2023 school year.

Coinciding with the newly passed law, medical research confirms that lack of sleep is harmful for kids’ health.

“I think it’s a great idea because kids push themselves too hard,” teacher Mr. O’Rourke said. “With everything students have going on nowadays with sports and extracurriculars and stuff, kids don’t get enough sleep.”

On a regular basis, “teenagers need eight to ten hours of sleep per night, but only about 15% get that much” (National Sleep Foundation). Now, with the ability for adolescents to sleep in more, the hope is that the overall health and academic performance of students will improve. 

There are some opponents, however, who view the new law as detrimental rather than beneficial.

The current start time is earlier to provide flexibility for the schedules of working parents. Transportation would not only be a hassle for parents later in the morning, but it may also affect bus routes. Some fear that later end times will shorten the amount of time for homework and extracurriculars after school and create a temptation to stay up later.

“That would suck getting out of school later, especially with sports and stuff,” senior Hadley Thorsell said. “I’m kind of annoyed that I’m graduating this year though because it would be nice to sleep in.”

Overall, teenage students don’t get enough sleep, so the new start time is one step further towards improving the overall health and performance of young people.

though there are some concerns about early start times, it will overall be beneficial to students performance in school and extracurricular. It has been proven that teenage aren’t getting enough sleep, and this legislation will ensure that they are able to live a healthy life!

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