Nitin Soorya, an emergency physician at St. Alexius Medical Center in Hoffman Estates, has started an online petition requesting the Illinois Board of Education establish a policy that requires no child of any age to be in class before 8 a.m. or on a school bus before 7 a.m.
"Many high schools today start school in the 7 o'clock hour, a practice started several decades ago to save money by recycling school bus runs," Soorya writes in the online petition.
The earlier school start times mess with the student's sleep schedule and also affect the health and welfare of the child, according to the online petition.
Soorya says considerable research shows a relationship between school start times and sleep deprivation, student performance, truancy, absenteeism, depression, mood swings, impulse control and tobacco and alcohol use. The online petition states 8:30 a.m. or later is an ideal start time.
Legislation is needed to mandate start times that will benefit the student's health and their educational well-being, according to the online petition.
As of Tuesay morning, the online petition has 177 signature with a goal of reaching 200 signatures. The plan is to deliver the petition to Dr. Christopher Koch, State Superintendent of the Illinois Board of Education; Dr. Gery J. Chico, Chairman of the Illinois Board of Education; and the remaining members of the Illinois Board of Education, according to the online petition.
View the online petition above or by visiting here.