Zombies or Sleepless Students: Does School Start too Early?


Ryan M., Executive Editor


Lake Mary’s starting bell rings at 7:15 AM every morning; but is that too early?  Many students don’t get to sleep until midnight then wake up bright and early the next day at 5AM.  To sum it up, high schoolers almost never get the full eight and a half hours of sleep they need to function.

Due to lack of rest, high school students go through the first few periods of the day as zombies, feeling dazed and exhausted.  There are pros to ringing the first bell so early; getting out at 2:20 PM everyday allows for more time after school for sports, clubs, or other out of school activities such as jobs or volunteer work.  But is it worth it?  Getting out so early and participating in these activities are great, but you don’t get home until probably around 5PM, and then starting homework can be a nightmare.  According to the University of Minnesota study of 9,000 students in eight public schools in Colorado, Minnesota, and Wyoming, later start times proved 60% of students getting eight hours of sleep, a reduction of tardiness, and fewer teen car crashes; teens are built to stay up later and sleep in until noon.  Sophomore Kennedy Murray shared, “I think that school should start later because we would be more awake and pay more attention in class because, with school starting as early as it does, everyone is just tired the whole day and can’t pay attention that well.”

Teachers want to avoid traffic, parents want kids home to work jobs or watch younger siblings, and some students want to sleep or have more time for homework.  There is an obvious conflict here; those who want want time, and those who want sleep.  Sophomore Kayleni Western stated, “I like that school starts early because people have after school activities and jobs that they need to attend to and with the bell schedule it allows us to do those things.”  Kayleni argues for the point of time.  Freshmen Molly Maksimovich agrees with her; Molly states, “Personally, I think that it’s a lot better starting early because I like getting out earlier, so that way you still have more time to do things for the rest of the day.”  With an entire day left once school ends, it makes time for family, friends, or homework.

Some complain that school starts too early, but how early is “too early”?  It all depends on how you perceive it.  Will the times ever change?  For now, the student zombies of Lake Mary will just have to rely of the coffee in their Yeti Cups.