The problem with school lockers: No one uses them


Allison Mi

With lockers being narrow, students just don’t use them.

Gina Ko, Feature Editor

Aligned with colorful covers, densely filled along the hallways, flashing the classroom section with distinctive categorizing, the school locker’s role of providing personal space for students has faded in Huron.

Since her freshman year, junior Anna Alexandrov has had a hard time opening the locker. The situation has not improved since junior year, with the addition of a heavy textbook-packed backpack.

“I brought four textbooks to school, and I brought them in a little bag,” Alexandrov said as she recalled the first day of school. “I did not know where my locker was so I basically carried it around.”

When she found where her locker was, she faced a new challenge.

“I could not open my locker,” Alexandrov said. “I’ve always been bad with locker locks but this one was especially bad. I had to carry four textbooks all day, and it really hurt my back.”

Spanish teacher Sarah Wroblewski sees it first hand on the use.

“I have seen students that have had a hard time opening their lockers,” Wroblewski said. “I think sometimes students don’t use their locker because they don’t know how to open it or they struggle opening it.”

For students who often used to use school lockers in middle school, it is more challenging not being able to use lockers in high school.

“I used to use a locker in middle school every day because we couldn’t carry a backpack in a Clague,” Alexandrov said. “It’s the same type of lock but this one I’ve never actually opened.”

Location and size of lockers make it difficult for students to find the locker and fit enough baggage even when they successfully open them.

“If it was in 5200 or 6200, it wouldn’t be that bad,” Alexandrov said. “But if it’s near the gym or on the third floor, you just carry your stuff all the way to the third floor, and that’s uncomfortable.”

Sophomore Nancy Liu agrees with the problems regarding the location. 

“I think some students have trouble having to walk to their locker and walk all the way back to class.”

Liu also recognizes the size of the locker. 

“The lockers here are like five inches wide, and I don’t think anyone would use them,” Liu said. 

Among many other reasons, lack of direction makes students easily give up using their locker, or even not trying to open it.

“I think that they don’t really teach you guys how to open them very well,” Wroblewski said. “I think they need to teach students how to open them but right now they’re not. It’s not very clear how to do that.”

Number and combination for the locker on the schedule are not enough for students to use their lockers conveniently.

“If they have a little guide for people who are struggling opening this type of lock, that could help instead of just carrying our stuff around,” Alexandrov said. “ A picture or diagram can teach students how to open up the locker, especially for freshmen, and that will probably make more people use the locker.”

In addition to more clear and detailed instruction, Wroblewski suggests some prior experiences are needed to familiarize students with their lockers.

“Principals or the link crew can teach students how to open their lockers,” Wroblewski said. “If they needed help, they could get help, like we had a time set aside at the beginning of the year. And I think that would be really helpful for people so that they can get into their lockers and use them.”