Connie Buckler from the Greater Essex County District School Board said the difference between bears and roosters is behind her push for later start times at area high schools.

The trustee for Lakeshore and Tecumseh presented the possibility to her peers during their meeting Tuesday night, explaining not everyone is an early-rising rooster.

"I remember being a bear myself, I don't function very well first thing in the morning," she explained. "I remember how difficult high school was for me to get up and function that early in the morning."

GECDSB, Connie Buckler

Lakeshore and Tecumseh trustee Connie Buckler said she had a hard time getting up early when she was in high school. (GECDSB)

Schools across the region typically start between 8:30 and 9 a.m., which Buckler admits is already a "later start time," but she argues giving students time to sleep in will bring benefits.

"I watch the dropout rates and I watch the students that struggle with anxiety and with other issues because they're asked to fit into a mold of early mornings and long days," she said. "It's not that they're tied to social media and don't know when to go to bed at night, there's data out there that says teenagers operate on a different time cycle."

Buckler maintains more rest will help students "shine."

Students split on later bells

She has shared her data about sleep and start times with board administrators and is preparing more information about later bells and plans to present test locations to her fellow trustees by January.

The proposal was met by a split opinion Tuesday.

"Amazingly the students were split 50-50 on whether they'd like to go to school later as were the trustees, just about," said Buckler, adding a student trustee raised concerns about later times cutting into extracurriculars or part-time jobs.

"We're absolutely interested in the whole child, so we're going to have to find a way to make those two mesh."