[Opinion] School days should be shorter


Julia Landy

Due to longer school hours, students are faced with stress from classes and not having enough time after school to do things they are passionate about. Graphic by Julia Landy

Every morning at 7:40 a.m., students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School wake up early to attend their classes. School is in session for 6 hours a day, 180 days a year for students. Considering the long hours spent on academics each day, students never get time to do things they are passionate about. If school hours were shorter, students would have more time to spend on their passions, extracurriculars and well-deserved rest.

Many students participate in extracurricular activities outside of the classroom such as sports, community service, arts and many others. Students also have to attend these extracurricular activities later in the day due to lengthy school hours, leaving little time left over to complete their homework. Research from the Child Mind Institute has proven that school causes sleep deprivation in teens which makes it more difficult to focus in class and affects the brain’s ability to consolidate. Other implications can include not having enough time to study, complete homework and do extracurricular activities.

Obviously, the long hours of strenuous academics prove to be too much to handle for busy students. Longer school hours also cause surplus amounts of pressure and stress on students. Many tend to slack off when feeling this pressure or stress and become unmotivated, which can lead to further implications such as showing up late or even skipping class completely. Many students also tend to use the bathroom a lot during classes or show up late as they feel time will pass faster when doing this. If school hours were shorter then students could be motivated to show up to class on time for a healthier interval of schooling.

A survey from the American Psychological Association has shown that during the school year, teens say their stress level is higher than levels reported by adults in the past month. This supports the notion that teens are already stressed out with school as it is, thus school should be made less stressful with reduced school hours.

Some may argue and say that school hours are long due to parents having to work long hours and being unable to get off work early, and while this may be true, there are numerous ways for students to be cared for or taken home, such as walking, taking the bus and even attending aftercare programs.

While longer school hours could be stressful for students, it could also be stressful for staff members as well. Making school hours shorter would also benefit teachers, as they will have more time to grade assignments and spend time with their families.

As making school hours shorter will benefit students and the staff members, it will also benefit the school’s budget as well. Things like Wi-Fi, lights, air conditioning, and heat units won’t need to run all day as school hours would be shorter which would overall reduce the cost.

Some may contend that in the future most job hours would be longer than school hours. While this may be true, adults have the right to choose their career and job, but students don’t get the option to decide whether to go to school or not. Younger people shouldn’t have to work long hours as some adults do. Shorter school hours can only be seen as a positive thing and would benefit students, teachers and administrators.

While school systems are debating on whether or not to make school hours shorter, the answer shouldn’t be in question: school hours should be shorter as it would give students more time for extracurricular activities, lessen the stress on students, lower the schools budget and provide students with more time to complete homework.