Petition Aims to "Start School Later" in Leon County

Leon County Schools LCS logo
Posted at 6:15 PM, Jan 22, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-22 18:15:00-05

TALLAHASSEE, FL (WTXL) -- More than 400 people have signed a petition to push back what time high school starts in Leon County.

The movement has been gaining interest at the Leon County School Board meets next week.

The push to start school later has been part of an ongoing national conversation.

Much of the argument comes from several scientific studies, making connections between start times and students' physical and mental health.

Kimberly Dramon, the parent of a local eighth grader, says she worries about how her son will adjust to the time change when he goes to high school.

Currently, middle school starts at 9:30 a.m., and high school starts two hours earlier at 7:30 a.m.

Dramon says teens typically sleep later than other students, and having to wake up earlier to go to school is an unfair challenge.

"There's a lot of stress on teenagers these days," Dramon said. "They've got to do so many things right now to be competitive. Why don't we just give them an extra hour of sleep? At least! To try to give them a better chance at being successful."

A Facebook group called "Start School Later Leon County" is asking the community to get involved. There will be a workshop Tuesday at 3 p.m. at the Howell Building on Pensacola Street, which will be followed by the school board meeting at 6 p.m.

The group is aiming for 500 signatures on the petition, which they plan to deliver to Superintendent Jackie Pons.