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Cons outweigh pros when it comes to zero period

By Tim Han

Waking up at 6 a.m. to get ready for school can be exhausting. Students miss their breakfasts that help them process what they learn to rush to school on time. However, for early bird students, it’s an advantage to make up loss of credit or squeeze more courses into their schedule.

So, should Alameda High School terminate zero period for good?

Zero period can be advantageous for early bird students. It allows students to make up credits and even get ahead of their high school requirements.

Students can take zero period to get a free period during their senior year. They are then free to leave school and start their extracurricular activities like work and sports that they may not have been able to do beforehand.

Zero period also equals a quieter environment for learning. Students can benefit from the peace in the morning. Instead of the usual hectic and noisy hallways, students can take their time and relax while going to their lockers before going to class.

This silence also relates to the morning traffic Going to school from Bay Farm Island to Alameda High School takes twice the amount of the time during 7:30 to 8 a.m. Going to school for zero period would eliminate the times for traffic jams and parking is abundant. Students can take the pleasure of parking in front of the school and don’t have to worry about street cleaning. During regular mornings, students have to scour through nearby streets to find parking and be aware of street cleaning hours to avoid getting a parking ticket.

However, there are those students that lack sleep and shouldn’t ever take zero period because they lack the energy to do so. Sleep is vital to your well-being and teens need about eight to 10 hours of sleep each night to function properly. The National Sleep Foundation found that only 15 percent of teens get eight and a half hours of sleep every night. With not even half the teen population getting adequate sleep, zero period is a bad option for many.

Sleep deprivation leads to sleep disorders like narcolepsy, insomnia, and restless legs syndrome that can be treated over time with proper sleeping schedule. With added zero period into schedules, students are more prone to getting these disorders that affect their social and academic life.

Personal witness accounts of seeing more than half of the students fall asleep during zero period proves that teens are not getting enough sleep. This limits students’ abilities to comprehend problems and concentrate.

As a student who took zero period, I had little concentration in class. Even if I got enough sleep, the early cold mornings made me physically and mentally tired. I couldn’t listen to the lectures and retain the information. I believe students will benefit from no zero period and become more alert throughout the day.

Zero period will only make students groggy throughout the day with little concentration over academic agendas. With the lack of sleep and added omitting of breakfasts that boosts students energy, zero period should be terminated.

AHS Journalism
The Oak Leaf, a product of the journalism class, is a vehicle of student expression and a public forum for the Alameda High School community.