School starts too early

Rebekah Helms, Staff Reporter

With a starting time at our school of 7:20 a.m. my friend’s bus comes nearly an hour and a half before classes begin. Clearly, school starts too early for teens to get enough sleep and do well in class.

Trying to catch a bus at 5:30 a.m. or driving to school at 6:45 a.m. makes getting the recommended eight to ten hours of sleep for teens nearly impossible and leads to a poor academic, physical and social life.

According to the author Karen Weintraub in the 2016 article “Young and Sleep Deprived,” teens getting less than recommended sleep have a higher suicide rate, depression risk and are more likely to abuse substances, get in a car crash and do worse in school. Wake County school system is supposed to encourage teens to do well in academics and in social life, but making school hours too early and not allowing us to get enough sleep isn’t helping us achieve our goals as students or people.

Some students and teachers like the current start times because they get home early, but in middle school, I got an extra hour of sleep in the mornings and got home 20 minutes later than now. The reason I got home early is because the bus I took in the afternoons took me straight home, and this year my bus and many other buses make two routes for our school, which means some students get home at 3:30 p.m.

Allowing us to get home early is supposed to allow us to have jobs, but most of the jobs for teens are serving dinner after school and dinner starts much later than when school ends.

Our school system has high school start so early to save money on buses. Staggering buses means that instead of needing three sets of buses for elementary, middle and high school they only need one, but doing this comes with a price of less successful high school students. WCPSS simply needs to realize that spending more money on buses is worth high school students having a better life getting that needed sleep.

If WCPSS could raise enough to buy more buses the rate of students in the county going to college would be higher and the future of our county would be much better. WCPSS simply needs to realize that spending more money on buses is worth high-schoolers having a better life getting that needed sleep.