Half days: an unnecessary evil


180 days. 

That is the bare minimum of days Michigan students are required to attend. And recently, these days have started before Labor Day. 

The number of days students are forced to be in school isn’t the only requirement. 1,098 hours of class time is needed to complete a school year.

FHC consistently meets these marks and goes over the requirement each year. So, extending breaks or including more days off for kids would be an improvement for all affected.

For teachers, half days schedules do not allow enough time for a proper class. For many teachers, they can’t fit in an entire lesson. They may play a movie or assign busy-work that is unnecessary and non-educational. 

For students, these days are short and a burden. They have to wake up at the same time, only to sit in each class for less than half an hour, then leave in three hours. 

Some students don’t even attend half days. If a parent agrees to excuse a student on a half-day, they don’t have to go to school, and the absence is valid.

If not attending school is the case for many students, and those who do are wasting their time in class, what is the point of half days?

High school is one of the most significant sources of stress for teenagers. Many don’t know how to properly deal with the difficulty of stress and its effects. If unchecked, it can be extremely detrimental to the mental and physical states of the human body. 

Short-term effects of school-related stress can be terrible: a weaker immune system, fatigue, and headaches. These symptoms are ones that almost all students have faced, but their stress isn’t short term.

High school takes up four years of life and can apply stress for an amount of time that can allow stress to majorly affect the body. These dangerous health concerns are mental illnesses like depression, anxiety, and personality disorders. They can also cause cardiovascular problems, obesity, and eating disorders. 

If stress is handled early enough, the effects can be reversed. But after prolonged exposure to unrelenting stress, the damage can be much more permanent. 

Even just a three-day weekend immensely improves the mood during the four-day week and the following week. Students have time to properly de-stress and are able to come back to school ready and refreshed. 

This extra day also gives extra time for homework teachers may assign over the weekend. On a typical weekend, this homework can seriously cut down on the free time of teens.

This is why concerns about stress are so serious. Even at home, students are still worried about grades, assignments, and tests. 

Mental illness has been a concern on the rise, and high school is partially to blame; students are under too much stress and are not given enough time to deal with it. 

The health and well-being of students are clearly something that need to be considered when planning out the school year.