Junking These Trunks

Dingy and rusty, more than two thirds of lockers go unused

Elizabeth Posey & Sarah Sabawi, Art Director & Staff Writer

Many young students anticipate owning their first locker. Whether it be in middle or high school, the locker is widely considered a staple of American education. However, the charm of lockers fades quickly when students are confronted with the actual function of these storage spaces.

“It’s not exactly what I pictured high school looking like,” said junior Katia Yarkov. “I thought that lockers were always something that every high schooler had and they went to locker, they put everything inside and they’re just always hanging out around their lockers.”

Most schools, including Branham, have adopted a smaller, more compact style of locker — a far cry from the classic, tall design used in movies and television. In fact, many of the lockers at Branham are nonfunctional or in need of repair.

“(The lockers) are disgusting inside, broken down, and rusty,” said Susie Fleming, the bookroom secretary. “And as far as I know, there isn’t any immediate plan to clean them really well.” Fleming added that the combination locks replaced those with combinations built in, but they stopped functioning. “They created a mechanism that lifts up to release the door, or locks it, and even that mechanism is stuck,” she continued. “So they’re really broken down.” In a school of roughly 1,800 students, only 980 lockers are usable, and only 638 have been assigned to a student. That means that two-thirds of students at Branham don’t own a locker.

In the article “Schools and lockers: No longer the right combination,” the Washington Post suggests that the locker is disappearing into the realm of the obsolete. Many schools have even gotten rid of them all together. Students no longer use them as a conversation hub and a place to decorate with stickers and pictures of their crush. Instead, they are being used simply for their intended purpose — storage.

But some think that lockers aren’t going away any time soon.

“I think the trend is that lockers are being used less, but I don’t know about ‘obsolete’. There are enough clubs and activities on campus that when people have stuff that they can’t carry around, I think there will always be somewhat of a need,” said Fleming.