How Early is Too Early?

How Early is Too Early?

Henry Walsh, Staff Writer

Baton Rouge, 6:00 A.M.: You wake up in a blurry daze, still wondering where you are. You remember your dream about driving Ferraris in Los Angeles with Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, but reality sets in. It’s Monday. Time for school.

All across America, high school students wake up, sometimes extremely early, to begin their day at school. Many people believe that teenagers wake up too early and that harsh sleep schedule affects their productivity at school. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that middle and high schools should start no earlier than 8:30, a whole hour after CHS starts its school day.

Many Catholic High students feel the struggle of having to wake up at extremely early times to begin their day whether it be for a long school commute or an early morning practice. Senior Josh Miletello said, “School starts early, which means that I have to start [Lacrosse] practice earlier.” While the CHS Lacrosse team is very successful in their games, their practices must start at 6:00 A.M; which can sometimes lead to the players being very drowsy and unproductive at school. The upside for these players is that they do get some of that time back after school because they don’t have practice at the end of the school day.

CHS students are struggling with having to get up in the morning. From dragging themselves out of bed, to hopping in the car, students feel a lack of sleep when going to school. When asked what he thinks of the time school starts, senior Brant Broussard said, “I definitely think that pushing it back an hour would benefit a lot of students, but personally I don’t think it will happen since it has been such a long time with the current time.” The time may have been set for years now, but is it too late to change?

With the idea of the start time for school being pushed back, the question remains on what the new time should be. Senior Jacob Wax says, “Pushing the time back allows for more sleep, which allows for more focus in classrooms, plus changing the time of day kids wake up will change their energy. I would push the time back to 9:30 A.M.” Jacob’s idea of pushing school back a whole two hours could help many students with their frantic and disorganized sleep schedules.

When it comes to the time school starts, I don’t think we should change it too much. I would push the time back about 30 minutes, but I wouldn’t make drastic changes. I tend to wake up very early, which allows me to beat the traffic and do homework before school. Pushing school back half an hour or so would allow for lacrosse players to not be at school too early in the morning, but would not force the school day to end extremely late.

For years now, the debate on the time school starts has made national headlines and is becoming more and more of a hot topic in school boards and city meetings. High school students struggle with maintaining a busy schedule. With extracurricular, AP and honors classes, many students can stay up very late, and get little sleep each night. How can anyone expect a student with piles of homework and responsibilities to be functioning at full capacity if they’re running on only a few hours of sleep? You can’t, but is fixing the time school starts the solution? Are there other ways to help high school students get the sleep they need?