Ohio lawmakers: Set healthy school start times.
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Because of changes in sleep that occur during puberty, health experts recommend that middle and high schools start after 8:30am. School start times before 8:30am for adolescents are associated with chronic insufficient sleep - and chronic sleep loss is associated with increased car crashes, increased sports injuries, obesity, diabetes, depression, substance abuse, suicide, poorer learning, and more. Wake times of 6am for adolescents are biochemically equivalent to wake times of 3am for adults.
Some groups that have called for later school start times include the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Centers for Disease Control, the National Association of School Nurses, the Society of Pediatric Nurses, the American Thoracic Society, the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, the National Education Association, the Education Commission of the States, the Ohio Adolescent Health Partnership, the Ohio chapter of the National Association of Social Workers, and other health, education, and safety experts.
Unfortunately change among individual schools in Ohio is complicated due to state-level mandates related to transportation. Local school officials want to act on the research, but they are limited by the schedules set by neighboring local, STEM, charter, private, and vocational schools. The solution is for the state legislature to set healthy parameters that all Ohio schools must follow – this helps our schools and, more importantly, helps protect the health and safety of Ohio children.
Sign and share this petition asking Ohio state lawmakers to pass legislation that sets 8:30am as the earliest start time for middle and high schools, and 8am as the earliest start time elementary schools. (No child in Ohio, regardless of age, should walk to school or a bus stop in the 5 and 6 o’clock hours.)
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