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Locked Up

Why do most students at Liberty not use their lockers?

Max Fensterman, Investigative Editor

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Lockers are a quintessential memory of any high school graduate of the past. In the pre-digital age, they held all of their textbooks, notebooks and folders. They were convenient, even those who didn’t like having to walk the hallways for a while to get to their locker knew how much of a necessity they were.

Nowadays, students seem to be quickly turning their backs to the metal behemoths that line the hallways. Here at Liberty, it’s more common to see somebody roaming the halls with an overweight backpack than someone poking their head into a locker to get their next class’ homework.

So why is it that Liberty students have left the lockers to collect dust, and prefer to carry all of their belongings with them to every class?

Senior Grant Berkelhamer sees the large amount of lockers here at Liberty as being pretty useless.

“I’ve never used the lockers in high school, I just carry everything around, although in middle school I used my locker everyday,” Berkelhamer said.

He is of the opinion that the reason for students turning their backs on the lockers is a preparedness factor. Having all of your belongings with you ensures that you won’t leave anything in your locker and end up missing out on class time.

“It’s also a time issue, we only have five minutes of passing time and it’s kind of a hassle to walk all the way down the hallway depending on where you are,” Berkelhamer said.

Even Liberty’s freshman class is no outlier to the recent trend of carrying backpacks to every class. Freshman Michelle Yoder also doesn’t use her locker at Liberty, although during her three years at Frontier Middle she used it everyday.

“Most people used lockers back in middle school because we weren’t allowed to take our backpacks to every class, so any person who didn’t use their locker had to carry all of their stuff and basically couldn’t use a backpack at all,” said Yoder.

She shares the same view as Berkelhamer in that the classes here at Liberty are too far apart for a locker to be practical. Because students aren’t required to use their lockers, it’s easier to have everything in your backpack.

Although most students at Liberty refuse to use their lockers, those who do are often very passionate about them.

Junior Stacy Bamberger uses her locker everyday and knew at the beginning of this school year exactly what hallway she needed her locker to be in.

“I needed a locker in the 300 hallway, and the school refused to let me have one there because it would make it harder for the custodians to clean all of them out at the end of the year,” Bamberger said.

Due to the way her schedule is set up, and distance between classes, a locker in the 200 or 400 hallway would mean that she might often be late to class.

She uses her locker for all of the regular school supplies, like her lunchbox, notebooks and folders. Despite this, she agrees that the lockers remain underutilized due to time constraints.

“I feel like a lot of students don’t use their lockers because they don’t want to use their passing period time up, they’d rather just carry all of their stuff around. Either that or they can’t get one in an area that they really need one in,” Bamberger said.

Whether it’s changing times or simply a matter of ease, it seems like lockers are on the way out for students at Liberty. Like all trends, they may make a comeback someday.

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