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Starting in 2016 Tom Moore and the West Hartford Board of Education began to hear proposals on changing school start times to later hours. Support, concomitant with opposition, was immediate as parents, teachers, and students weighed the pros and cons.
The voices of those who really matter, the students, have responded with the following:
- More sleep (would lead to less stress)
- Lower chance of being late to class
- Sports and activities would go much later; might have to miss parts of school to compete in competitions
- Students would have to stay up even later to complete work
- Parents would have to reschedule work or daycare to accommodate for change
- Budgets cuts have already cut many school programs, would anything else be cut to subsidize for this expense?
Student athletes are the most vehement group opposed to this change; they cite their already pressed schedules and how pushing back the end of school would make their practices end even later than they already do. Furthermore, many games, matches, and meets are scheduled for right after school and these students would be forced to miss their last period classes, regularly, to participate.
Simply, pushing back start times would (generally) benefit all students except those in high school. They won’t get a substantial amount more of sleep and changing the time school starts would just push everything else back so students would get home later and in turn, finish their work later.
Yes, everyone would love more sleep, but unless technicalities like these can be worked out, the idea just isn’t practical enough and it won’t gain support among older students. The caricature of this debate has been black and white and students aren’t as evenly split as they are portrayed. True, many would love more sleep, but most recognize the incontrovertible problems the change may bring and they’re fine with the status quo.
As usual, the voices of opposition to the norm sing louder than those of content.