A law passed on September 13, 2019, where school times for high schoolers and middle schoolers will be pushed back. This new law, known as the “Later School Start Bill,” will go into effect for the school year starting in July 2022.
The law mandates that classes for high school will start no earlier than 8:30 AM and classes for middle school will start no later than 8:00 AM. Currently, according to a New York Times census, three in four high schools in California start at a time earlier than 8:30 AM. However, with this new law in place, performances, such as absences and tardies, in students will supposedly increase because of the extra sleep students are gaining. Therefore, the law plans to bring a more positive effect to the performances students bring to school.
Many studies have shown that sleep has a crucial role in future students’ lives. Dr. Sumit Bhargava, a clinical associate professor of pediatrics at Stanford University and specialist in pediatric sleep medicine at Stanford Children’s Health, stated that because adolescents’ brains are still developing, chronic sleep deprivation can increase the risk of diseases later in life. In addition to this, just one extra hour of sleep will decrease the amount of anxiety and depression students face, while academic results increase.
Comparing America’s education system to South Korea’s, where students face immense pressure for strong grades, a difference can be seen in suicide rates in adolescents. For that reason, many worries arise from the effects sleep deprivation has on youth mental health.
When this law is enacted, a significant growth is to be seen for academic and mental improvement for students. Finally, the prayer that every student has asked for is answered, and it shall come to benefit many.