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Letter to the Editor: Call To Action For Later School Start Times

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Dear Editor,

Flooded daily with homework, extracurricular activities, work, and responsibilities, I am a typical high school student in West Hartford. Our stress culture has been rampant since we’ve earned our place as one of the best, most reputable schools in both the state and the country.

With West Hartford’s consideration of later school start times, I’d like to bring up a point that is seldom addressed in the debates parents, teachers, and students often have regarding this subject: we won’t know until we try.

On one side, we have people discussing that later school start times will make it difficult for many students to play sports, work, and complete their homework. On the other side, we have people who cite that this is a public health issue that must be addressed, and that many high schools have seen positive outcomes with this implementation. Similar to politics, these polarized views often blur the obvious points of a discussion. Division exacerbates common sense.

In our nation’s debate regarding gun violence, there is a cycle that our society follows: tragedy occurs, thoughts and prayers, Facebook debates, everybody forgets, nothing happens, tragedy occurs… While the debate regarding school starting times is incomparable to the tragedies occurring across the country, there is a similar trend in the way in which people choose to address the issue.  

We will debate until either nothing is done, or an insignificant change is made. Quite simply, I believe that many fear change, which is completely valid. However, I urge West Hartford parents, teachers, and students to think about one thing: if nothing changes, how do we know whether it is or is not effective?

Thus, I leave you with these words: I do not think we’re asking too much to try a new system, as students deserve the benefit of the doubt. This will not be an experiment, but rather, an adjustment.

Our district has a responsibility to try. Otherwise, we may miss out on positive impacts.

Nina Faynshtayn
West Hartford, CT
Hall ‘20

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