After six years of starting school one hour apart, this fall seventh- and eighth- graders at Bellflower's two high schools will be starting classes at the same time as students in 9th through 12th grades.
Because of declining enrollment, Bellflower's two junior high schools and Mayfair and Bellflower senior high schools were consolidated in 1980.
After parents said that the older students might be a bad influence, the Bellflower Unified School District board approved a split schedule with seventh and eighth graders starting classes one hour later.
But last week, in a 3-2 vote with board members Justine Miller and Brooks Cope dissenting, the board approved identical school hours for all the grades. Board members argued that classes were disrupted by noise created by the students who arrived at school one hour later.
"There were some complaints of noise, but I don't think having them all start at the same time is a good idea," Cope said. "It's traumatic enough for the young kids to be in high school in the first place without having to mingle with the older students."