Carl Delta: Later start time? Why not earlier sleep time?

Thursday, April 17, 2014
To the editor:

For some time I have been reading about the proposed later Northampton High School start time. The supporters of this change say that to not implement this is saying we don’t care about the wellness of our students. It’s not a big surprise that there are studies that show that students that don’t get enough sleep do poorly, and it may even be detrimental to their health.

However, having come from an agrarian area, personally I and a number of my friends had to get up at 5 a.m. and sometimes earlier in the morning to do some chores before getting ready for school.

Despite this I did well in high school as did most of my friends that also had to get up early. I also graduated from college and even had some classes at 7 a.m. I also helped raise two children who did well in school and now as adults have pretty good jobs and seem very happy.

When visiting friends with high school-aged children, it seems like they are not often doing homework until late at night and spend a lot of time on social networking and doing video games or watching TV. I might suggest that instead of the city burdening the taxpayer once again with a bill that could cost more than $750,000 a year perhaps students should go to bed a bit earlier.

In fact I know of one family that actually requires this. I have a feeling that some of the supporters of this later start time may be doing it for their own benefit rather than a concern with student health. Knock on the door of every Northampton property owner and ask for donations of this money each year to allow funding of this change and see how much you get.

Carl Delta