NJ high schools start too damn early (Opinion)
For years now parents have complained that high school start times are far too early. Turns out the American Academy of Pediatrics backs them up with science. Teenagers natural body clocks are geared toward later start times and sleep deprived students may suffer a decline in academic performance along with physical and mental health problems.
The issue was even studied by the state which led Gov. Phil Murphy to sign a law launching a pilot program for a handful of high schools to try delayed start times.
“Teens are operating on too little sleep to the detriment of their physical, social, emotional and ultimately academic well-being,” Assemblywoman Mila Jasey, D-Essex, said at the time. “With later school start times, students could get a little more sleep giving them just the extra boost they need for success. It’s a strategy that has great potential to work in our largely diverse state and merits our attention.”
But this was in 2019.
What’s happened since then? A pandemic that upended school beginning in 2020. So with virtual learning then hybrid models with half days there’s really been no serious way to study anything.
As we get ready to send kids back to high school full-time how about a new law that moves beyond a drawn out pilot program to prove what science already determined? High school starts too damn early. Just. change. it.
My son and daughter’s high school has a first bell at 7:35 a.m.. This is also a regional high school with other townships feeding students in meaning longer bus rides for a lot of kids. Some high schools start even earlier.
We talk the talk in New Jersey about how important education is. If we’re ignoring the science and doing it all wrong, are we really walking the walk?
The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Jeff Deminski. Any opinions expressed are Jeff Deminski's own.