SB328: an Opinion or a Misconception?

Insight into the new bill and what all the buzz is about.

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SB328: an Opinion or a Misconception?

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The hardest step to take is the first one. For students, that’s forcing yourself out of bed at the-sun-isn’t-even-up-yet o’clock. Still, all is not lost, because it’s finally here: the new bill that mandates a minimum school start time of 8:30 a.m.!

The bill, named SB328, is said to start during the 2022-2023 school year. A bummer for juniors and seniors, but a joy for freshmen and sophomores. Still, that’s purely subjective since it seems that there are mixed feelings about the new bill.

Multiple parents and students, in general, have expressed their discontent with this bill, saying that it may negatively affect students with jobs and siblings they need to take care of. Parents’ main concern is also how they’re going to drop off their kids when they’ll already be at work by eight.

On the other end of this spectrum, some adults seem happy that students can finally get the rest they need, especially after the multiple studies that have shown that the brain isn’t at its best in the early morning.

Rocklin High School students are no different in this divide. Some students, like junior Julia Runnion, stated that this bill wasn’t a good idea, because students will get home later than usual and have less time to do their homework.

“Kids with insomnia aside, teenagers stay up late all the time,” said Julia. “They can easily just sleep early, but they don’t.”

Other students, like freshman Janine Esau, disagree and think the bill is a great idea, because she believes students need the extra sleep time.

“Students’ brains tend to reach a ‘resting point’ much later than an adult’s,” said Janine. “It makes no sense that we’re forced to sleep early when our brains literally won’t let us.”

So, it seems that there’s a bit of a misconception going on here. Mrs. Colleen Crowe likes the bill because she can sleep in, too. So what’s the deal? Mr. Eric Sturgeon, the AP Psychology teacher, steps in to clarify this misconception. He believes the bill should have come into play a long time ago, and the psychology behind it agrees.

According to Sturgeon, everyone has an internal clock, and a huge part of what controls that is our chronotypes, a genetic factor that makes people a “morning person” or a “night owl.” For the most part, teenagers are “night owls,” so they biologically cannot sleep early because it’s going against their chronotype.

“[Teenagers] are now finally recognized for what [they] are: night owls,” said Sturgeon. “Thus, [they] are now protected by law to get that extra sleep in the morning, which teenagers desperately need.”

Whether you believe the new bill is a good idea or not, psychology shows that teenagers have been going against their biological needs for years. It’s no wonder students can’t focus as much during the first block.

In addition to that, Sturgeon adds that there are many more pros to waking up later, such as “better memory, higher intelligence, mood stabilization, weight regulation and better athletic/academic performance.”

People still have a lot of mixed opinions over SB328, but times are changing (both figuratively and literally). All we can do now is learn to adapt and accept things for what they are before we get left behind in these winds of change.