Cons of Late Start Time



Jesenia Garcia enjoys getting to school early.

Betty Sanchez, Editor-In-Chief

Most students in schools around California were overly excited about SB 328 assuming that it would go into effect immediately. SB 328 is a state law passed by the California State Legislature and signed into law by Governor Gavin Newsom, that states middle and high students will begin classes no earlier than 8:00 a.m. and 8:30 a.m. respectively, by July 1, 2022 at the latest. Students were prepared for this law to be enacted, some students believed it would start next year while somebody had said it was as early as next semester. As of now in 2019 California schools have three years to implement this law, which brings us to the question, is it really that special?

The main reason this law was created was after three decades of research on teen health, the evidence showed that students are losing sleep. Lawmakers passed the bill that proposes California middle schools and high schools push their start time back to 8:30 a.m. If one thinks below the surface starting school later brings up a number of issues.  

School starting later can have a huge impact on transportation, most students get to school by their parent’s ride or carpool. Now that school starts at a later time students will either have to be dropped off earlier, or would have to walk or find some other transportation to school. Many teens have after-school jobs that require them to report by a specific time. Many families depend upon their teens to watch younger children while the parents finish out their workday. Students would not be able to fill these necessary duties, which could create even more difficulties for families and the students themselves.

If schools push their start time to later in the morning, then they are eliminating time for students to do homework. Students who are involved in sports or extracurricular school-sponsored activities may find themselves with a limited amount of time to complete their work each day. That would force them to stay up later to get their work done, which would then negate the benefits that having a later start time would be able to create. Student  Mathew Camillo states, “I guess I could say that it would be best if school started later but the only downside of it is that we enter earlier so it’s a gray area for me”.

A student involved in extracurricular sports and outdoor activities will have to stay at school later than usual. The programs that have different ending times now extend that around an hour to two later. Having an entire school day I need to get home later than usual is nothing but exhausting. Even if there are not any extracurricular activities for some teens after school, there would still be the temptation to stay up later each night because they could sleep in later the next morning. A change in the school schedule would require buy-in from parents and guardians to help gain the benefits of extra sleep for their children. At the end of the day you really can’t force anyone to fall asleep, even if you require them to be in their room by a certain time.