SCS Parents Push For Later Start Times For High School Students

(Memphis) Hundreds of parents are demanding Shelby County Schools push back class start times.

Classes currently start at 7 a.m. for high school students, which means teens often need to be at the bus stop before dawn.

Close to 500 students and parents signed an online petition asking the district to push back the first bell at high schools.

Shelby County Schools administrators said they saw the petition, but have yet to comment.

They did say later times for middle and high schools were brought up in recent work sessions.

“Sleep is the thing they are not getting, and that hurts them in a lot of ways,” said parent Amy Howell.

Her son goes to Houston High. She is one of hundreds of parents wanting SCS to make a change.

“The elementary kids start at 9 a.m., and that may be fine, but maybe we could switch that around. The high school kids are the ones that need the sleep,” she said.

Close to 500 parents signed an online petition on MoveOn.org asking the district to push back the first bell for high schools.

New research by the University of Minnesota shows high schools with later start times have high standardized test scores and grades, and students were happier and more motived.

Students were also less likely to get in fights and make impulsive or risky decisions.

“We have new information. We have technology. We have got to find better processes and systems for our kids,” said Howell.

Not all parents are convinced saying it will affect after-school activities, and students wouldn’t be able to have part-time jobs.

If you would like to sign the petition, click here.



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