I have found a problem that should not be over looked. For many years students and teachers have had precious hours of sleep seized from them by schools all across the great United States of America. I am no attorney, but I do know seizure of property without a proper warrant is against the Fourth Amendment; one of the twenty seven amendments our very nation has been built upon today. I am not proposing we go to court with our school systems, but I am suggesting we can all comprise and find a few simple solutions to this unlawful problem we are all enduring. Therefore, high school start times should be pushed back to benefit students, teachers and our school systems.
Students who attend high school may come across as slackers, unmotivated, and over all lazy. People, including school administration, blame this on our generation. Past generations have been perceived as hippies, baby boomers, and rebels; Not our generation though. We have been placed with the label of lazy. This is a label they obviously just placed without a reason to why we may seem lazy. We may look and appear lazy due to the lack of sleep we are encountered with on a daily basis. As seen on the cart to the right, an average teen needs eight and a half to nine and a quarter hours of sleep a night. But according to research, an average teenager in our nation only accumulates seven hours of sleep in a single school night (“Backgrounder”). Not to even mention the fact they attempt to “catch up” on sleep during weekends and days off. In doing this, students are creating an irregular sleep pattern that in return, can be detrimental to their health (“Teenagers”). In a regular school week, students are being deprived of seven and a half hours of sleep; which would equal more than an extra night of sleep. Then students develop the terrible habit of seeking to make up the lost night of sleep on weekends. All due to early start times from schools that simply fail to recognize this.
I believe schools don’t even realize how important sleep is to teen’s either. Research tells us, depression and sleep deprivation are very closely connected with one another (Manning). I know schools have really been focusing on how bullying and suicides are related, but why they don’t try to fix the depression, which could lead to suicide, that they are causing? If we were really concerned with our children’s safety, we should be saying no to early start times before saying no to bullies. The problem is depression isn’t the only thing linked to sleep deprivation.
Not enough sleep correlates directly with the quality of work students offer in the classroom as well. Conditions due to lack of sleep include: concentration difficulties, mentally ‘drifting off’ in class, shortened attention span, memory impairment, poor decision making, lack of enthusiasm, moodiness and aggression, risk-taking behavior, slower physical reflexes, and reduced sporting and academic performance (“Teenagers”). To many, this is a...