Are Lockers a Thing of the Past?

It's likely that memories of high school for most people include the clanging and banging of hall lockers. They were places to not only store books and jackets but to hang out. Now, however, it seems that lockers just might be going the way of home ec and typing classes. Are lockers a necessity or simply a relic of school days past?

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Just Another Victim of Technology?

The future looks bleak for school lockers. New high schools are being built without them. Some existing schools are taking them out. And the trend seems to be growing.


Many cite the increased use of laptops, Web-based assignments and electronic textbooks as the main reason for no longer needing to line school halls with lockers. Savings in construction costs for new schools is also a plus; $200,000 was saved when Germantown High School in Mississippi was built without lockers.

Student Management

School officials also cite another positive when it comes to eliminating lockers: students can't use them for hiding illegal or potentially dangerous items. Guns, drugs and other paraphernalia can easily be concealed in lockers. 'Students were putting things in there that they shouldn't,' Ronnie McGehee, interim superintendent of Mississippi's Madison County School District, where Germantown High is located, told ABC News.

Some see taking away lockers as a way of removing these potential threats and enhancing student safety. 'I think it's a way to manage students,' Mike Nelson, a co-founder of Keys to Safer Schools, an advocacy group that supplies safety training and materials to schools and other organizations, told USA Today in November 2011.

Nelson went as far as to say that he felt some violent incidences at schools might have been prevented if schools did not have lockers. However, can't the argument be made that the same items that can be hidden in lockers can be concealed in jackets and backpacks?

Why Some May Not Back the Idea

Speaking of backpacks, some students might feel that their backs could be paying the price for locker-less halls. 'It can make your book bag really heavy,' said one Germantown High tenth-grader. Parents are echoing these concerns.

Schools are not ignoring this fact. In some classrooms, space or shelving has been made for students to store their backpacks. In other cases, school officials are looking into adopting the use of Kindles or Nooks to replace heavy textbooks.

But what of coats? Boots? Umbrellas? Gym clothes? So far, these items haven't been addressed. Wider and more accessible halls due to the absence of lockers might sound wonderful, but what if the result is cluttered classrooms?

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