Why students are not allowed to use lockers

By Karina Garcia (Editor and Chief) -3/14/17

Andres Ocampo using his locker in the band room
Andres Ocampo using his locker in the band room

Freshman Kaitlyn Melendez goes about her day sometimes with arms sore because she has to carry books around due to not having a place to store them for the day. She also worries that they might get mixed up with one of her peer’s textbook. Students at Kennedy High School have not been allowed to use lockers for a number of administrations, and under Principal Richard Chavez, that has been continued.
Lockers can mean a variety of things to adolescents, including a place to store books, a space of privacy, a display of personality, or a hangout to socialize. A good number of students that attend Kennedy had lockers available in middle school, including students from Porter Middle School, Frost Middle School, and Patrick Henry Middle School.
The current administration is not certain when lockers were made unavailable, but former principal Sandra Blake in now leading Porter Middle School and reports that the same decision has been made for the next school year. The reasoning behind it is because it is too hard to maintain them, as the district no longer aids in broken lockers.
There was never enough lockers for every single student at Kennedy, so requirements were applied in order to reserve one. English and psychology teacher Jamie Koskela informed that the most academic students were given priority. That means that people who were taking the most AP classes would get them first, and students could have no fails to keep a locker.
Students were expected to bring books to school and back home everyday to do homework, and it was easier to store heavier books in the lockers. Now that lockers are not available, it has become common to have a class set of books while students have one as well, but not all classes have this.
Chavez explained that having a class set of books is possible because “there are less students enrolled in the school than before, leaving more books…stored in the classrooms.”
He also thinks that there is no need for lockers now because of classroom sets and he does not want to exclude students from not having lockers because there is still not enough for every student, and he predicts that textbooks will be available on mobile devices in five to seven years from now. The process is beginning next year as the English department will have Pearson textbooks available online.
However, not everyone was left without a lockers. For one, physical education lockers are still used. Also, music teacher Wilber Ibarra has a few in his room for his students to use when needed. It is not enough for every music student, so they are assigned in a first-come-first-serve bases.
Vice Principal Robert Clarke also says that his concerns are that students can hide things that should not be in there like food, drugs, or weapons. The administration has not reconsidered the prior administration’s stance, but Clarke believes that if students want them back they should bring the idea up to the school based management, which is currently lacking a student representative.
There lies a possibility restore the lockers since it would cost too much money to physically remove them, they will remain in the halls for longer.