If you are a teacher, a school administrator, a school board member or the superintendent of the Long Beach Unified School District, please read on. If you are not one of those, please give this article to someone who knows one of those people.

This is really important. The school board is about to change the schedule of high school students so we start school an hour later, at 8:45 a.m. We would also end school an hour later. The school board will discuss the proposal on Jan. 29 and is set to make a final decision on the matter in February. Hopefully, they’ll get a copy of my article before because this is a very, very, very bad idea.

Why?

If we end school later, we have less time to do homework without staying up later. I can’t stay awake later. I go to sleep at 9:30 p.m., so I simply lose an hour of time to complete assignments given to me during the school day unless I stay up longer. I can’t do homework in the morning. Sorry, I don’t do homework in the morning. That is not a natural thing.

If we start school an hour later, we will not get more sleep. The superintendent has said this is a good reason we should change the schedule. Sorry, I don’t see it. We are simply going to stay up later and get the same amount of sleep because we have the same amount of homework.

So. you say, simply stay up later. What’s the difference? Well, there is a big, big difference. We are going to lose our ability to participate in extra-curricular activities, many of which require sunlight. There’s no way to recoup that. We need these activities to bolster our college applications. And now we are going to have to work harder than anyone else to demonstrate the same level of activity as others.

My brother, for example, will lose his ability to play golf, the first sport in which he has really excelled. We were all so excited that he could play varsity golf and if your plan passes, he will likely not be able to play because it will be dark out before he finishes a practice game and the golf course will close.

He will lose class time if he plays against other schools. If I participate in the swim team, I will lose one hour a day in which to do my homework.

Zoe Mena is an eighth grader at Rogers Middle School.

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