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

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


Legacy Comments3

Little spoiled brats? Nice. You should be proud of yourself

Well, maybe they're not little. But there are plenty of spoiled brats out there, as I'm sure every high school teacher in Northampton--and many other towns--can attest. Spoiled brats are nothing new, they've always been around. But there are also a lot of really good kids out there. As someone who was a "lark" (early to bed, early to rise) even in college, I know I was considered "weird" back in those days, so maybe there is something to be said for the studies that contend most teens are nightowls. On the other hand, I got better grades than most of the nightowls--even in college when they could arrange their schedules for later-in-the-day classes. And people I knew who helped put themselves through UMass with student jobs in the dining halls and driving PVTA buses got up a lot earlier than I did, and the ones I was acquainted with all did well academically. I'm not sure what the answer is, but another committee and more money thrown at "studies" is probably useless.

Send the little spoiled brats to bed without their iphones, laptops, tablets and social media frenzy, and maybe they'll get up in time for school. Giving students a later start time will only let them stay up later. Learning to maintain a schedule, and be on time, well rested and prepared for school, will help them when it comes time to get a job that does not involve "do you want fries with that"

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