ROCKVILLE, Md. (AP) — Thousands of people across Montgomery County have signed a petition calling for later start times for high schools, which often start class before 7:30 a.m.

The Washington Post reports more than 7,000 people have signed the petition since it was launched Oct. 15. It will be presented to the school board this month.

Supporters point to research showing lack of sleep is linked to academic performance, absenteeism and increased risk of depression and car crashes.

Parent Shelly McGill of Bethesda says it’s not safe for students to be out before the sun rises. A student was fatally struck by a car this week at 7:03 a.m. on her way to Seneca Valley High School.

Fairfax County also has early start times. But Arlington and Loudoun counties start school later.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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