Ruth Acolatse, staff

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Each school year comes with its own problems such as lack of discipline among students, students skipping, petty fights among students and many other complicated issues. The most consistent problem that keeps nagging teachers as well as school authorities is the problem of students sleeping during class. Class hours are supposed to be productive hours for students’ academic growth and development. If these hours are not put to use productively, we are at risk of having academically deficient students in our country. The question that keeps popping up each time this topic is evaluated is, “What is the reason students appear to be losing critical hours of their life?” The answers are not far-fetched.

Research done by the US Census shows that one in every four high school students have a job (either part-time or full-time). Some students have these jobs because it is a necessity to support their families, while others work to earn money for themselves or for their college funds. Working while in high school has many pros and cons but if time is not managed well, the cons tend to override the pros resulting in unproductive results. Handling a job, extracurricular activities, and school is a very cumbersome way of life for a highschooler.

This information leads us to only one conclusion, which is that having a job while in high school has more negative effects than positive effects. The most effective solution here seems to be preventing high school students from having jobs since having a job seems to cover up more than ninety percent of the reasons most of them sleep in class. And then later focusing on how to prevent them from staying up late on their mobile phones since this is also another major contributing factor to students sleeping in class. But can we entertain the idea of having our high school students not working when they constitute more than three million potential workers nationwide?

Junior Ryan Romero works in a ceramic floor tiling store for his family, and says his work deprives him of the necessary amount of sleep needed for a young adult thereby rendering him sleepy during class hours. He also added that his job has sometimes prevented him from being in school.

“I have to work because nobody else will,” Romero said.

Senior Ali Muaid also says he used to work 40 hours a week at McDonald’s to support his family. Due to the negative effect these many hours had on his academic performance, he has reduced the burden on his shoulders by working just three days a week. Still, he has problems paying attention during class hours because he still loses a valuable amount of sleep at night.

Science teacher Jonathan Temple says he has had students sleeping in his class and his first instinct is to try keeping them awake by alerting them. This method works sometimes but other times more severe punishments such as referrals have to be given because these students just can’t concentrate on the lesson.

“Most of these students have revealed that they are tired from having to work late into the night, while just a handful are tired because they stay up late on their mobile phones,” Temple said.

The information gathered from very different sources and point of views above just throw more light onto the problem at hand. We now realize that there is direct correlation between having a job and losing important hours of sleep. If preventing more than three million potential workers from working isn’t the most suitable solution, what then is the most suitable solution that can favor both the students and the potential of the economy?

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