Slight majority in favor of later school start times – 226 participants

Jul 20, 2017

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that middle/high schools delay start times until 8:30 am or later. Read more about this issue. On July 20, Citizens Count, NH’s Live Free or Die Alliance decided to put the issue to its Facebook members, posting the question, “Would you support a later school start time for high schoolers in your town?”

Would you support a later school start time for high schoolers in your town?

High School Start Times Citizen Voices Chart

Participation: 226 participants gave 660 responses.

A total of 90% of those participating gave a ‘yes or no’ response to the question. The remaining 10% of participants engaged in the discussion but did not give a ‘yes or no’ response. In total, 226 individuals from New Hampshire contributed a total of 660 responses or reactions to this question. (Click here for details on our methodology.)

What Participants Said

Yes: A slight majority of ‘yes or no’ respondents, at 56%, were in favor of a later school start time for high schoolers in their community. 

  • “A ‘regular’ job start at 9am. High school, for some reason, begins at 7:30am. Wouldn't a later start time (such as 8:30, like they have in elementary school and some middle schools) actually prepare them for the real world better than an earlier one?”
  • “Multiple studies have shown that children and teens need more sleep than adults, and that early school start times negatively affect attention and comprehension of school subjects.”
  • “To say, ‘I got up early when I went to school,’ is not a reason to make this generation do so... especially when studies have clearly shown it's more beneficial for teenagers to start school later in the day.”

No: A minority of ‘yes or no’ respondents, at 44%, were opposed to a later school start time for high schoolers in their community.   

  • “8 am is a fine start time. If high schoolers need more sleep, they just need to go to bed earlier.”
  • “No. The rest of the world functions early in the morning,  including college and employers.”
  • “It would also impact child care and place a financial burden on families. Additionally,  many students work out of necessity and although they would not lose their jobs the number of hours they worked would be impacted.”

Other: As noted above, 10% of those participating did not give a ‘yes or no’ response, instead addressing their comments to related questions and issues. These included:  

  • School choice: “[I] would support vouchers so taxpayers could send their children to the school which had the starting time of their choice.”
  • Homeschooling: “I'm so glad I homeschooled my son through graduation so he was able to live in a healthy manner and follow his passions and interests.”
  • Starting dates: “They start much too early.  Don't make them go back to school before Labor Day.”

*Editor selection of actual participant quotes. 

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