by John Houle
Massachusetts is considering changing from the Eastern Time Zone to the Atlantic Time Zone. This proposal was approved by the Massachusetts Commission and is currently awaiting approval from the federal Department of Transportation and state legislature before becoming a law. If this proposal is approved, Massachusetts would be ahead of its current time by an hour, leading to darker mornings and brighter afternoons. Daylight Savings Time would be year round.
Fifty-two students from all grades in Hudson High School have been surveyed about their opinions on this potential change. The data show a strong preference.
While students may reject the change to the Atlantic Time Zone, administrators were more accepting of this change.
“Changing to the Atlantic Time Zone,” Principal Brian Reagan said, “would help us in making school start later, since it would be harder to walk to school in the dark mornings.”
This change would have a big impact on some aspects of society, such as tourism.
“One problem,” history teacher Katherine Neff said, “that would occur if Massachusetts changed to the Atlantic Time Zone alone would be that traveling between states would be difficult.”
The difficulty of traveling between states, or interstate traveling, would affect more than just tourism and vacations. This change would also affect teachers who live out of state. They would be forced to face this difficulty every school day. Fortunately, the solution to this problem is seemingly simple, even if implementing this solution would be difficult.
“It would be best,” Neff said, “if Massachusetts changed time zones with other states in the New England area.”
One of the clearest benefits to Massachusetts would be the brighter afternoons, which appeals to some students.
“I don’t feel like school would change,” one student said in response to the survey, “and I wouldn’t want it to. I like that we get out at 2:03 because it’s early and still leaves time to do other activities outside of school before doing homework.”