Daily Hampshire Gazette - Established 1786
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Lorraine Mangione: Facts belie arguments for later NHS start time

To the editor:

How marvelous that the Gazette and some members of the Northampton School Committee are still intent on having us drink the Kool-Aid of late school start time, despite many voiced objections, much questioning of the purported wisdom of it and the vast amounts of hours that concerned citizens have put in on this vitally important issue.

I wonder if they have walked the halls of Northampton High School lately, for this is that momentous time of the year for seniors when they hear from colleges.

This year’s senior class members, like so many before them from NHS, have been accepted at many of what are considered the top colleges and universities in our country, and at a wide array of excellent schools that fit their needs and desires. From what I have heard, the halls and social media are filled with students celebrating their successes and occasionally lamenting their losses. They have competed admirably with their peers from across the country and have found challenging colleges and universities that will serve them well in the years to come.

The guidance counselors have done a careful and conscientious job of helping these kids through what has become an increasingly daunting process. Many students have been terrifically supportive of each other and have learned and grown from this rite of passage. It’s really astounding that these kids were able to do this, given their alleged exhaustion level.

I wonder if the late school time promulgators noticed the rally for the arts last month. So many NHS students devote long hours to their passions within the arts and come away with amazing plays, inspiring choral concerts, art that wins statewide awards and band concerts of the highest quality.

They even somehow had energy and organizational abilities to put on a rally protesting the budget cuts. Many of those same kids have jobs after school. And to think that they did all this while exhausted and basically dysfunctional. Maybe the late school start-time folks could unobtrusively switch their time and attention to the school budget and save the jobs of our first-rate, highly accomplished teachers.

Lorraine Mangione

Northampton

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