Skip to content

Editorial: Later school-start times will solve nothing

What rational person thinks that youth aren't staying up as long as they can?

Fairfax County Public Schools is in the midst of considering whether to push the start time in middle schools back to later in the morning, in the forlorn belief that a later start time will help those middle-school students in getting more sleep.

To borrow a line from Shakespeare – is he in the curriculum these days? – “Lord, what fools these mortals be.”

Frankly, we don’t care if middle school, or high school for that matter, starts at 6 a.m. or 9 a.m. or noon. It’s all marching toward what we’d wager will be a four-day class schedule in coming years, once public education completely throws in the towel. It hasn’t been serious for two generations.

But we do object, on principle, to foolishness. And it is foolishness to believe, as Fairfax officials did when they pushed back start times for high schools years back, that starting school later will result in students’ getting more sleep.

The obvious end result of starting school later will be that students will stay up later, getting exactly the same amount of sleep as before. (Do any of these school leaders pushing these things even HAVE pre-teens and teens? They often act like they’ve never known how they behave in the real world.)