Art by Brooke Walker
Since the establishment of our school, student lockers have only been provided for P.E. students– and only for one period every other day. As students begin to juggle more classes and extracurricular activities, the school should provide lockers to ease the physical and emotional pressure of carrying a large amount of materials around campus.
Having school lockers allows students to feel more assured that their possessions are secured in a safe location. According to RCR Education, school lockers save students, teachers and parents the time of dealing with the aftermath of personal property getting lost around campus. Implementing this would give students a sense of responsibility, teaching them how to be more organized with their work and materials.
In addition, students will have the opportunity to personalize their lockers, promoting individualism and creativity outside of the classroom. Having a personal space would allow us to add photos, stickers and other unique items making the space more aesthetically pleasing and enjoyable. Although there should be some ground rules as to what students can and cannot put in their lockers (inappropriate photos, signs, etc.), giving students the opportunity to express themselves in a joyful way can help relieve the emotional stress of bringing everything by hand to class.
According to Save Radio Free America, creative expression through personal space is known to be an effective outlet for stress, negative emotions and any pent up frustrations that may arise due to heavy school work or something coming up in your personal life. Being able to express yourself freely without restriction would dramatically improve an individual’s mental health — a global issue amongst high school students. In addition, creative expression also gives you a sense of relief from any outside factors and the difficulties that stem from that stress.
While drug possession in school lockers may be a concern for some, it’s certainly not likely to happen more often than it does currently, and it’s also easily preventable. Currently, students can still bring drugs in their backpacks and carry them around campus, so whether we have lockers or not, personal spaces may be misused by students either way. The most efficient way of maintaining safety and a healthy environment is to have weekly or monthly (depending on the what is most appropriate for administration) locker checks where trained police dogs look for any drugs that may be hiding in backpacks or lockers. In doing so, the school will be able to figure out the best way to handle the issue.
However, there is a major downside to this. Drug possession during school hours have been increasingly concerning for administration and teachers throughout campus and all across the nation. Implemented into our school policy is the Zero Tolerance Policy which refers to the school’s disciplinary practices and abilities to handle situations regarding drugs, vapes and other substances. This may cause an issue for the school because access to lockers may be another way for students to hide these items. Having lockers would still allow us to comply with this policy.
Despite all the controversy, I believe having school lockers is important for privacy and personalization. As high school students it is important to understand that our own personal bubble is what we stand by. Space is valuable to us and having lockers will cater to our needs so we do not feel congested and stressed carrying all of our books on our backs or in our hands.