Pa. lawmaker: Delay school start times

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – A state lawmaker says Pennsylvania’s high school students might do better if they didn’t have to wake up so early.

Rep. Tim Briggs (D-Montgomery) introduced legislation that would study the effects of a later start time to the school day.

His proposal, House Bill 2105, would direct the state Education Department to study the benefits and any negative impacts of a later start time. He says his bill wouldn’t implement the change, just study it.

“The extremely early school start times we see throughout the state may be a serious issue for our student’s health and well-being,” Briggs said in a statement. “I know most parents wouldn’t accept a dangerous or unhealthy schooling environment for their children and we need to start considering how start times factor into that.”

Briggs pointed to the American Academy of Pediatrics, which recommends middle and high schools delay the start of class to 8:30 a.m. or later. The academy said getting enough sleep can be hard for teens with natural sleep cycles that make it difficult for them to fall asleep before 11 p.m.

Adolescents who do not get enough sleep, the academy reported, are more likely to suffer from physical and mental health problems including obesity, are at an increased risk of being involved in an automobile accident, and are more likely to decline in academic performance.

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