School Start Times

Mike Meredith

Fundamentals of Public Address

Rough Draft: Speech Outline

Persuasive

Feb 27 2006

A. Introduction

1. [VISUAL – Personal Picture animated to make teacher happy then angry] Attention Getter – Personal Story – Fr. Clemo fired when he attacked a student for falling asleep in class and breaking his hand [STYLE x2 – Rhetorical Question /Hyperbole– ‘What are we to draw from this story?’ That Catholic priests are power hungry megalomaniacs? No. Rather, that kids that are drowsy are in danger and it’s time we did something about it.]

2. Statement Showing Why the Topic is related to experiences ‘we’ are having / why you are an expert – have students remember when they were in an early morning science class at Whitman and if they remember learning well

3. Thesis: School Start times should be moved ahead an hour to coordinate with student sleep cycles

[TRANSTION – the reason why you’re unable to focus in those early morning classes has less to do with your late night partying than you might think it may have to do with your innate biological cycles]

 

B. Later School Start times increase Education

1. [VISUAL - STMA School’s Chart Comparing Natural Sleep Times to School Start Times] Students have a “natural sleep pattern that leads to a late-to-bed, late-to rise cycle” as a result of “the maturation of the endocrine system…[and] secretion based on human circadian rhythms that are rather fixed beginning at approximately 11pm until approximately 8am” 1 So brains are still in ‘sleep mode’ at 8am while most schools start at 7:30am

2. Dr. Kyla Wahlstrom at the University of Minnesota, found students are more likely to recall information when learned on a full night’s sleep and when brain is out of ‘sleep mode’ 2 [STYLE – Rhetorical Question ‘So why do we start school while students are still asleep?’]

3. [VISUAL – National Sleep Foundation Chart Comparing GPA pre/post time switch] Empirically proven – “data from [a national sleep foundation] study done in Minneapolis schools showed that there was a significant reduction in school dropout rates, …and students reported earning higher grades.”3 after start times were moved up

[TRANSITION / STYLE – Hyperbole – So as a result of a uninformed beaurocratic decision to start school at 7am we have hordes of rock stupid high schoolers who, as it turns out have decided that the best way to resolve their insomnia is to hit the bong]

 

C. Later School Star times decrease youth delinquency

1. “Sleep-deprived [students]….are 33% likely to use alcohol and other drugs” 4

2. Lack of sleep undermines coping mechanisms and “increases aggressive behavior… [and results in] difficulty relating to peers and parents” 5

3. Sleep deprived are “more likely to experience depression and anti-social behavior” 6

[TRANSITION / STYLE – Hyperbole – What’s worse is that as a result of their lack of sleep these now angry, drugged up juvenile delinquents are getting behind the wheel]

 

D. Later School Start times decrease car accidents

1. 100,000 crashes each year are caused by fatigued drivers7

2. 55% of drowsy driving crashes are caused by students less than 25 years old 8

3. Being awake for 18 hours is equal to a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08%, which is legally drunk and leaves you at equal risk for a crash9

4. [VISUAL – National Sleep Foundation comparative chart of stacked up crashed cars] Empirically proven –Minneapolis study- after switch in start time - reduction in early morning accidents10

 

E. Conclusion/Drawing to a bigger Point – Society’s obsession with controlling our natures and divining our time should not harm children’s learning. [STYLE – Rhetorical Question – ‘Is our obsession with control worth sacrificing our children’s futures to the alter of efficiency?’]

 

1 Regents of the University of Minnesota “Later start times for high school students”. 1996 Whitman College 27 Feb 2006 < http://education.umn.edu/research/ResearchWorks/sleep.html>

2 Regent’s “Later Start Times”. Online

3 STMA Schools. “School Start Times” 2005 WhitmanCollege 27 Feb. 2006

<http://www.stma.k12.mn.us/district_information/district_news/school_start_times.php>

4 National Sleep Foundation “Dozing off in Class” 1999 Whitman College 27 Feb. 2006

< http://www.sleepfoundation.org/hottopics/index.php?secid=18&id=202>

5 National Sleep Foundation “A look at the School Start times Debate” 1999 Whitman College 27 Feb. 2006

<http://www.sleepfoundation.org/hottopics/index.php?secid=18&id=206>

6 Regent’s “Later Start Times”. Online

7 National Sleep Foundation “Drowsy Driving” 2000 Whitman College 27 Feb. 2006 http://www.sleepfoundation.org/hottopics/index.php?secid=18&id=273

8 National Sleep Foundations “Drowsy Driving” Online.

9 National Sleep Foundations “Drowsy Driving” Online.

10 National Sleep Foundations “Drowsy Driving” Online.