Locked and Unloaded: The Waning Practicality of Student Lockers

In the past, lockers have been used for storing materials, meeting friends, and decorating to express oneself. But lately, students and staff question their purpose.

Science teacher Daniel Whitmore said he attributes this development to the decrease in physical textbooks.

“Part of it [neglecting lockers] is the Chromebooks,” said Whitmore. “There’s less to carry around, so lockers just aren’t as necessary.”

Freshman Sean Pierce agreed.

“I have textbooks for a couple classes, but I keep them at home,” he said. “I don’t really have any trouble fitting everything I need in my bag.”

Assistant principal Anthony DiBenedetto said that COVID contributed to the transition away from lockers as well.

“Chromebooks began to gradually reduce locker use, but going virtual killed the lockers,” said DiBenedetto.

Media specialist Alana Stern agreed.

“With remote learning, students had everything they needed at home with them,” she said. “Carrying all of that in a backpack eliminates the need for accountability at school.”

Freshman Aidan Dionne had been attending middle school while transitioning back from remote learning.

“After COVID, they [teachers] started letting us carry our bags everywhere,” said Dionne.

Some students said location has an impact on locker use as well.

“You’ll have two classes on one side of the school, and your locker is on the other,” said senior Callia Arum. “They are too inconvenient to be useful.”

Sophomore Callan Asher agreed.

“I can’t always fit everything in my bag,” said Asher. “But we [students] just don’t have enough time in between classes.”

Junior Benjamin Roberts said he encountered another issue when it comes to using lockers.

“The only time I’ve ever seen someone open their locker, they made me trip and fall,” he said. “The hallways are way too crowded to use them [lockers].”

English teacher Christopher Tarmey said there used to be more space to access lockers.

“Students’ backpacks are so full now that they take up as much space as another person entirely,” said Tarmey. “The halls are flooded with Galapagos tortoises on their hind legs.”

Stern said using a locker has become impractical and inefficient.

“A resource is only going to be used if it actually makes a job easier,” she said.

The number of locker purchases has also dropped in recent years.

“They [my homeroom students] were freshmen three years ago,” said Whitmore. “All of them purchased lockers.”

But Pierce and Dionne both serve as proof that this trend no longer holds true.

“We [Aiden and I] didn’t even buy lockers this year,” said Pierce. “It just didn’t seem like there was any point.”

Some students who did purchase lockers regret doing so.

“I think I opened mine on the first day [of freshman year] and never touched it again,” said Arum.

DiBenedetto said he has observed this same buyer’s remorse on many occasions.

“At the beginning of each year, freshmen always scramble to try to figure out how the locks work, and then they neglect their locker for the next four years,” he said.

According to faculty members, the trend not to use lockers may prove to be more detrimental in the long run than it currently seems.

“Carrying a Mesopotamian ziggurat on your back might cause damage later on,” said Tarmey. “The health issues could definitely catch up with some people, especially if they do the same thing in college.”