Parents Push Back On New School Start Times At Community Meeting

WEST ROXBURY (WBZ-AM) -- There was an overflow crowd at the Roche Community Center in West Roxbury Monday night as parents, angered over the new start times for Boston schools, gave school officials a piece of their minds.

The parents started off angry that not everyone who wanted to attend the meeting could fit in the room.

They came to protest new start times that will see high school students starting their school days later--at the expense of elementary school students.

Parents of elementary school students facing 7:15 a.m. start times lashed out at the 11-hour days that would mean for their children.

Parent Jenna Mulvooley spoke of the expenses she faces if the new times are approved.

"For us, personally, this change will cost us $700 additional a month in extra care that we'll need for our children, which we don't need right now, because we're able to jog our schedules," she said.

Another mother said the math didn't work out for her son in a different way.

"His day will be a 12 hour day," she said. "A 12 hour day, plus 11 1/2 to 12 hours of sleep means absolutely zero family time."

"I don't want my child in afterschool," another parent said. "I want my child to be with me when he can."

The changes are meant to address studies that say high school students do better when their sleep patterns better match their body clocks.

While high school students start later, about three dozen elementary and K-8 schools will be starting at 7:30 a.m. or earlier next year.

State Sen. Mike Rush, who has two kids in Boston Public Schools, called for a moratorium on any schedule changes until all student and family needs could be met.

"Let's actually put the students first, go back to the drawing board, and come up with a new plan after listening to these folks," he said, to applause.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030's Lana Jones reports

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