Closed Lockers

The+locker+can%27t+fit+a+school+bag
The locker can't fit a school bag

The locker can't fit a school bag

The locker can't fit a school bag

Michael Zhou and Minjae Kim

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In movies or books lockers serve as the temporary home of a student at school. When a new school day starts, the first place a student would head was their locker. Locker designs often symbolize the characters personality, and the amount of people around a person’s locker often shows who is in what group.

In a lot of today’s schools, including this one, lockers are starting to lose their popularity. At Hall High School, the placement and size of the lockers are very unattractive. Many lockers cannot even hold a bag, or even a textbook. One student had even gone to the office to ask for their locker to be fixed, but received no help.

“My lockers has been out of order for as long as I can remember , I have gone to the office seeking for help and all they tell me is my locker is completely fine, but when I tried to open it it does not open nor close. The upper side of the door is stuck therefore it doesn’t open not close properly.” – Anonymous Student.

Specific school reasons aside, as the use of e-textbooks and internet grows, the popularity of lockers decrease. Why bother using a print textbook when digital textbooks are twice as cheap, ten times as easy to carry, and indefinite times as easy to access?

At hall, there seems to be 3 different sized lockers. The most common form of a locker are the very thin, and very long type that exist pretty much everywhere in the school. Then are the ones that are quite wide, but short type that barely exist. The third types  are the unfair sized lockers that are wide and long at the same time. The third type of locker only exists in H-wing. All 3 lockers have the same depth.

Cost wise, new lockers are going to cost quite a bit, not to mention the time and money it would take to take the old lockers down. After checking the cheapest internet prices, a new locker that is around the same size as the third type of locker would cost around 110 dollars per locker. Given there are roughly 300 students per grade and 4 grades, to buy everyone a new locker is going to cost roughly 132,000 dollars(tax not included).

According to the survey, 70% of the student body don’t ever touch their locker. Only 30% are sure they would use the locker if they were bigger. Many commented that the biggest problem for them was the placement of lockers, not the size, which isn’t exactly solvable since people have different classes each year and have different routes to classes.

The percentages of how much people use their locker

So is it reasonable to completely redesign the locker system? Clearly not.

But that doesn’t mean there isn’t a solution.

Dover Area high school is also a school where the students do not use the lockers. To deal with such, the principal Jared Waster  said, “If any student would like a locker, please go to the main office.”

Adapting a similar policy at Hall might be helpful. Rather than just assigning a locker to a student based on last names and luck and not changing lockers over the years, have the students who need lockers go to the office and get assigned to one. Let them choose a locker so that they can find passing time between classes to go there.

Of course, this would still come with a small price. The only good lockers live in the H-Wing, which just happens to be in a secluded corner of the school, far away from the buses.

A student, Ellis Brown, says “There is not enough passing time, between classes and between the end of the day and the buses leaving.”

A redesign of the lockers closer to the buses may be helpful.

The reason why lockers are used is for storage. Not wanting to carry heavy bags or winter clothes, students would put their large items in a locker. Usually, that heavy item would be textbooks. But at Hall, textbooks don’t fit in most lockers. However, that isn’t much of a problem, as 44% of the students responded that they carry no textbooks and 22% only carry one textbook. Note that this percentage would most likely have been larger if a student had chose not to mess around and submit a nonsense answer 25 times.

How many textbooks people carry each day

So why is it that there has been a massive textbook decrease? Well, the answer is quite obvious: Technology. With more and more textbooks being uploaded and able to purchase online, paper textbook uses have decreased significantly. Digital textbooks are around twice as cheap, and are much easier to carry.

However, digital textbooks trade money for a different price: The price of learning. There is something known as a “disruptive effect”, which is the cause of scrolling on a screen when trying to read something. A poll done by professor Patricia Alexander at the University of Maryland  and her doctor candidate student Lauren M. Singer “found that students were able to better comprehend information in print for texts that were more than a page in length.”

At hall, there is another reason why textbooks aren’t brought to school so much. Our teachers seem to teach outside the textbook and usually only assign to us homework off the textbooks, and maybe some readings too. They are fully capable of teaching without one in class, and therefore there isn’t a reason to bring the textbooks.

Fortunately or unfortunately(whichever way you want to look at this), Hall isn’t the only high school where teachers are capable of teaching without a textbook. Dover Area High School also doesn’t rely on textbooks for the same reason. Principal Wastler has a distaste toward textbooks, saying that

For a long time, curriculum was written with the concept that your textbook was the center of your curriculum. Teachers developed courses through textbooks, and students poured through them, Wastler said, limiting the knowledge of a certain subject to the textbook.”

At the end of the day, lockers aren’t the biggest issue. There are plenty of other more important things to work on.

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