Dear Citizens Concerned About Teen Health,
GREAT NEWS! State Rep. Tim Briggs is reintroducing his legislation House Bill 2105 from last session as House Bill 762. It will require the PA Department of Education to conduct a study of issues, benefits and options related to instituting a later start time to the school day in secondary schools. He currently has 15 co-signers to his bill, a mixture of Republicans and Democrats from suburban, urban and rural counties.
BUT REP BRIGGS NEEDS OUR HELP to get more! He would like to get as many additional supporters as he can when he re-introduces the bill. on this reintroduced bill.
SO HOW CAN YOU HELP?
1. If you don’t already know who they are, please use the link below to find your local Pennsylvania House Representative. http://www.legis.state.pa.us/
2. Copy and paste the email below and send it to the rep’s email address ASAP:
Dear Representative _________,
I am writing to you to urge you to join 15 of your colleagues so far to co-sign very critical bipartisan legislation just reintroduced by Representative Tim Briggs this session, House Bill 762. This legislation will require the Pennsylvania Department of Education to conduct a study of issues, benefits and options related to instituting a later start time to the school day for secondary schools, in other words, healthy school hours. Given that research has shown that sleep cycles (circadian rhythms) shift in adolescence, these students are typically headed to school during hours that are completely out of sync with their biologically driven sleep/wake cycles at this stage of development.
The American Academy of Sleep Medicine has recommended that adolescents receive 8-10 hours of sleep per night on a regular basis to promote optimal health. The American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Medical Association, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have all recently recommended middle and high schools aim for start times that allow students to receive the recommended amount of sleep, 8:30AM or later, but only 15% of US high schools currently do. Research has shown that adolescents who do not get enough sleep are more likely to suffer from serious physical and mental health problems, suicide ideation, are at an increased risk of automobile, pedestrian, and sports accidents and are more likely to suffer in academic performance. The US Department of Health’s Office of Disease Prevention and Health has made sufficient sleep for high school students an objective of their Healthy People 2020 Program, and the National Sleep Foundation notes the consequences of sleep deprivation during teenage years are especially serious.
House Bill 762 would require the Department of Education to consider the recent recommendations of the American Academy of Pediatrics on the establishment of later school start times and include an assessment of the health, academic and safety benefits associated with establishing later start times. Additionally, this legislation would require the department to evaluate any potential negative impacts that may be associated with later school start times. Upon conclusion of the study, the PA Department of Education shall present the PA House and Senate Education Committee Chairmen with a report of their findings.
I urge you as my local representative to show your commitment to the health, wellbeing and safety of Pennsylvania’s adolescent students by please co-signing Representative Briggs’ bill now. See the link to the co-sponsorship memo below and the bill:
I look forward to hearing back from you at your earliest convenience and will be in touch to follow up.
3. Follow up with a phone call to make sure your email went through.
4. Ask your friends, family members, physicians, and neighbors to follow these same steps.
WE CAN MAKE THIS HAPPEN! Thank you so much for your support!
Best regards, The Regional Adolescent Sleep Needs Coalition
PS & FYI List of those who have already added their name to co-sponsor are:
Rep. Mark Longietti, D, District 7
Rep. Jake Weatley, D, District 19
Rep. Dom Costa, D, District 21
Rep. Anthony DeLuca, D, District 32
Rep. Mike Schlossberg, D, District 132
Rep. Robert Freeman, D, District 136
Rep. Michael Peifer, R, District 139
Rep. Kathy Watson, R, District 144
Rep. Todd Stephens, R, District 151
Rep. Tom Murt, R, District 152
Rep. Alex Charlton, R, District 165
Rep. Greg Vitali, D, District 166
Rep. Ed Neilson, D, District 174
Rep. Rosemary Brown, R, District 189
Rep. Vanessa Brown, D District 190