Do Louisiana Kids Start The School Day Too Early?
Louisiana is at the top of the list for starting school the earliest, more than any other state.
The Center for Disease Control says that kids all over the country are starting school too early. The average school start time in 2012 was 8:03AM. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that school should start at 8:30AM or later to give kids enough time to get 8 and a half hours of sleep a night.
According to the CDC, kids who don't get enough sleep are more susceptible to risky behavior, depression, weight gain, and poor school performance. More than two thirds of kids in the US get less than 8 hours of sleep a night.
I looked up two Lafayette Parish schools, and their first bell rings a full hour and a half before the recommended time. Both Lafayette High and Acadiana High's first bells ring at 7:00AM. I graduated from Bolton High School in Alexandria, and we started school at 8:30AM. I don't know how I would have ever gotten to school on time if our first bell rang at 7a.m.!
Now, of course, the first thing that pops into my head is hey, how bout kids get to sleep earlier? Well, what about the kids that have sports and jobs? If you play football, you're at practice until about 5 o'clock. If you have a job, no telling what time you'll get home, and then you have homework.