A petition that is only 4 weeks old has quickly created a competition between Kent and Rootstown. The Rootstown signatures aren't suprising considering that the Rootstown Elementary PTA voted on the issue in 2010 and wrote a letter asking the school board to take note, however the number of signatures from Kent suggests that those residents also want their schools to heed the research.
The petition simply asks schools to create committees to discuss the national recommendations to delay start times for adolescents. Here's a few comments from Kent residents who signed the petition:
"I believe that this is a cause that should be discussed further, especially if it leads to positive results that directly benefit our children."
"As a practicing psychologist and former teacher I, and my colleagues, support this initiative."
"I believe that this issue should be explored without prejudice and with fidelity. The decision to change or not to change should be based on the evidence, not on convenience."
"As the mother of three high-achieving students, two of whom are in their 20s, one of whom is still in the thick of it, I know sleep deprivation is real..."
The recommendations to delay school start times for adolescents is due to a shift in circadian rhythm during puberty that prevents teens from going to sleep early enough to accommodate an early wake time. A full explanation as well as some statistics and links to sites for further information is available at the petition site. Patch readers can view the petition site without signing anything, and there is a 'contact' link to ask for further information.
Feel free to view the petition and signatures at SignOn.org (search 'Portage County') or via the link below. If you choose to sign the petition, or if you already did, share it on Facebook, LinkedIn or via email.