Students Unsure About Late Start

Jessica Berton, Staff Writer

California Gov. Jerry Brown has vetoed legislation that would mandate all public and charter schools in the state to start school at 8:30 a.m., saying that local communities should manage their own start times.

Scientists have long pushed for schools, like Branham, to start later because it would improve students’ attendance, grades, and mental health, according to research done by the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Caffeine, napping, and sleeping extra on weekends helps very little in comparison to a proper sleep schedule. The recommended amount teens should sleep between 8.5 to 9.5 hours a day, which usually means that schools should start at 8:30 a.m. or later. However, the legislature was barely passed, with a minimum of 44 votes for and 30 against.

Many, not just scientists, are pushing for a later start time for students’ benefits.

“It’s better to give students enough time to wake up in the morning, [so] you get at least six to eight hours of sleep,” said math teacher Steven Turner, who is also head of the bell schedule committee. “Starting later would be really useful, allowing students to come to school rather prepared rather than just coming here.”

Though there are positives to a later start, there’s backlash from some students, parents and teachers due to the schedule changes that come with the later start time.

Assistant Principal Larry Lopez was also against the legislation.

“I personally enjoy the 8 o’clock start. I don’t think that’s too early or too late. But I think legislation 8:30 or later just pushes things further on in the day and it’s gonna create some conflict for students,” said assistant principal Larry Lopez.

Some students say they prefer to start later because it means that they can get more sleep.

“I’m tired a lot of the time,” said freshman Vinidu Geevaratne, “so being able to come to school that later is awesome.”