Tuesday, September 6, 2011

School Start Times

While some schools have already begun, most children are heading back to school today.

My daughter's junior high school began today with a new, earlier start time of 7:30 am. Her alarm clock makes the sound of a babbling brook that gets louder and louder until you shut it off. This morning at 6:15 I walked into her room to hear a thundering brook inches from her head. She was sound asleep. I was able to wake her up and she arrived at school on time - sleepy, but present.

Why do junior and senior high schools start so early, while elementary schools start so much later? We all know that most little kids get up a lot earlier than older kids. So why do teens begin school the earliest?

The answer has been given that junior and senior high schools need time for sports after school. OK. I get that. But my daughter and her junior high classmates will be getting out at 2:00 pm today. That's a lot of time for sports.

Plus, it's a known fact that teenagers get into the trouble most frequently between the hours of 3:00 and 5:00 pm, the time when parents are often not home. So, letting all those teens out at 2:00 pm, with 3 hours to fritter away before mom and dad get home seems questionable.

Like my daughter says, "No kid is going to get up early to cause trouble." That's right. No teen is going to get up at 6:00 am to get into mischief. But that same kid might find some mischief at 2:00 pm.

Food for thought.

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