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Late To Bed And Early To Rise

1862 words - 8 pages

From the early seventeenth century to the late eighteenth century, the east coast of North America was divided into thirteen English colonies. For most of this period, the colonists accepted English rule, even though they had no political representation in English Parliament. Their acquiescence ended in 1764, when Parliament began passing a series of legislative acts that heavily taxed the colonists without their consent. Leaders in the English government began to see the American colonies as an opportunity for exploitation, heavily taxing the unrepresented colonists without a thought for their well-being. The colonists suffered greatly because of decisions made without their input, and hostility developed between the English and the colonists. Twenty years later, after fighting a war to protect their inalienable rights, Americans set up a government that sought to ensure no one was taxed without having a voice, although they only gave voting rights to a select demographic. As time went on, more and more oppressed groups won their rights of representation; now every adult living in the United States has a voice in his government. Unfortunately, the idea of exploiting an unrepresented group has by no means died out – today, it is regularly employed in an institution called high school. A prominent example of exploitation of high school students is the early start time used in high schools throughout America. These early start times have significant consequences for students that can plague them for their entire lives. However, since many school districts save money on bus service by scheduling early morning start times for high schools, any suggestion of change has quickly been silenced. Schools cannot continue sacrificing the health of students simply to save money. In order to save adolescents from the negative effects of sleep deprivation and help them reach their potential, high school start times must be delayed to a later time. The main reason adolescents suffer from sleep deprivation more than any other demographic is a difference in their biological clocks, which can lead to devastating immediate consequences like low academic performance and drowsy driving, and significant lifelong health problems, such as diabetes and obesity-related diseases. In light of these effects, some schools have opted to make the change in start time, and have seen remarkable success. Schools that have not delayed start times must overcome reluctance and take the necessary step to protect their students from the consequences of sleep deprivation.
Adolescents are the victims in a world which virtually ignores their natural sleep cycles. Ironically, this disregard of teens’ needs is most present in the system designed specifically for them: high school. Teens follow different biological schedules than pre-pubescent children and adults; the internal clocks of adolescents are more than two hours behind those of every other demographic. The...

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