Board of Health Discuss School Start Times and Preventing Gun Violence

Two interesting topics were discussed at a recent Board of Health meeting.

School Start Times

The Board of Health continues to build a case for later school start times for Bedford students in grades 6-12.

Member Maureen Richichi said at the board’s September 19 meeting that she has met with School Committee Chair Brad Morrison on the subject.

Thursday, Superintendent of Schools Philip Conrad said he expects the issue to be on a School Committee agenda before the end of October.

Classes begin at 7:40 John Glenn Middle School and at 7:45 at Bedford High School.

The Board of Health has been considering the issue for more than two years, reviewing evidence from sources like the American Medical Association, which recommends a later start time for high school classes.

School Committee members have noted that there are interlocking consequences to changing the start time for even one school. These are not only intertown extracurricular activities but also issues like child care.

Richichi said at the Board of Health meeting that she has amassed revised start time details from more than 20 schools, including some members of the Dual County League, such as Wayland (8:40 a.m.) and Newton South (9 a.m.).

She said she passed the information on to Morrison and hopes it serves as a baseline for discussion. “If they move forward on this, they don’t want to recreate the wheel,” she commented.


Gun Violence Prevention in Town and in Homes

The board also discussed gun violence prevention as a goal for the coming year. After meeting with Police Lt. Det. Scott Jones, Richichi, reported, “We hope to have a campaign around March, with several components,” including gun buyback and securing weapons in the home, as well as a guest speaker.

“We’re hoping to engage nonprofits and faith communities,” she added.

Member Ann Kiessling wondered if gun violence is a problem in Bedford. “It’s a problem because there are guns in the community,” Richichi said, adding that Jones “sees this as very worthwhile.”

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1 month ago

I applaud the efforts of the Board of Health in tackling two important issues for the community. It’s naive to think Bedford is immune from gun violence, as history shows many gun-inflicted tragedies hit communities that never thought they’d experience the gun violence epidemic that inflicts and is rare to our country (eg, Uvalde). Let’s have the foresight to tackle issues proactively.

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