WAYLAND (CBS) – Wayland's School Committee voted Monday to approve a proposal to change the start and end times for all public schools in town, starting next fall. The vote passed 4-1.
The committee cited research that claims teenagers require more sleep.
Right now, the first bell for high school and middle school students rings around 7:30 a.m. With the new start times, that would be pushed back to 8:30 a.m. The day will now end at 3:10 p.m. next fall.
The move would also impact the three elementary schools in town, which currently start at 8:45 a.m. That would be pushed up to a new 7:50 a.m. start time because the schools all use the same buses.
Several students walked out of Wayland High School Monday morning to protest the vote.
"Kids would be getting home even later with extracurriculars, like sports, working, other stuff like that. And it's just not beneficial and the fact that they think we're going to get more sleep and that's just not going to happen," one student told WBZ-TV.
Parents who opposed the idea started a petition, arguing it's unfair to elementary school students.
But the mother of two middle school students told WBZ she liked the idea.
"Imagine living here in Wayland but your biological clock is set to California time, but the world around you expects you to wake up. That's what we're doing to our kids here for seven years, right, for their whole middle school and high school experience, while their adolescent brains are not able to wake up early. That's what they're experiencing and the school committee has the power to do something about it," said parent Sejal Srinivasan.
The Wayland Teachers Association said nearly two-thirds of the teachers surveyed in the district oppose the plan. They argue prioritizing one school community over another isn't fair, saying elementary school students need just as much sleep.
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