An article published February 4, 2016 in Inquisitr discusses the safety issues behind teen sleep deprivation and early school start times:
Early school start times are something that students and parents alike hate. Parents complain of having to use a crowbar to get their teenagers out of bed and off to school on time. Students complain their brains can’t focus that early in the morning. The kids aren’t just whining. They’re telling the truth. Early start times at schools, especially high schools and middle schools, affect student health and performance. Early school start times don’t just make students grumpy (something every parent of a teenager knows without having to read a survey). Early school start times endanger our teenagers. Schools that start early in the morning see lower grades, decreased attendance, more sick students, and more traffic accidents.
“Even without the pressure of biological changes, if we combine an early school starting time — say 7:30 a.m., which, with a modest commute, makes 6:15 a.m. a viable rising time —with our knowledge that optimal sleep need is 9 and one-fourth hours. We are asking that 16-year olds go to bed at 9 p.m. Rare is a teenager that will keep such a schedule. School work, sports practices, clubs, volunteer work, and paid employment take precedence. When biological changes are factored in, the ability even to have merely ‘adequate’ sleep is lost.”