No More Lockers?



Get to school. Go to locker. Break time. Go to locker. Change books. Lunch. Change binders. Passing period. Go to locker. Change books. Grab a jacket. Next day. Get to school. Repeat.

Students use their lockers throughout the day, decorate them, and even go to school two weeks before the first day to get the locker they want. They are an essential part of high school that students have always had, but that might change.

Principal Brian Ginter said that all of the lockers may be taken out as early as this summer as part of a hallway remodel.

“It has yet to be determined, but the school district would like us to remove them, ” Ginter said. Most lockers are in poor condition and would be expensive to replace or repair, he said.

“They’re very expensive and very far gone,” said Ginter. “Replacing them would cost more than $90,000.”

The district would pay to remove the lockers and repair and paint the hallways. If Rio keeps lockers the district will not pay for repairs or replacements or make any improvements to locker halls. The school would have to pick up the cost through its site budget or fundraising.

Rio is one of the three remaining high schools in the San Juan district to still have lockers, he said, and the district wants lockers gone from all high schools.

English teacher David White just came to Rio from Del Campo High School, and he was there at the time their lockers were removed. “At the last high school I worked at there were no lockers available to the students, which created problems with heavy backpacks, missing materials and a general compromising of their ability to be the best students they could,” he said.

Many students interviewed for this article also said students need a place where they can put their personal items, like their jackets, lunches and supplies. Lockers are a necessity for some who have multiple heavy books and binders they need to switch throughout the day.

“I can’t fit all my stuff in my backpack, lockers are very important,” freshman Matt Lynch said.

Freshman Lily Bickham agreed.

“I’d be very annoyed, my backpack is already too heavy,” she said.

While many love their lockers, others would not mind the change. There are a handful of students who wouldn’t be affected by this potential removal of the lockers, senior Erik Ramazzini points out. “I don’t really need a locker, but I know people who use theirs a lot,” he said.

Ginter said a newer and nicer looking school will instil pride in its students, and decrease vandalism.

While the hall lockers may be on their way out, the district will install new lockers in the physical education locker rooms as part of a major remodelling of those areas.

School athletes will continue to have the portable room to put their equipment in and district but no other changes would be made to accommodate locker-less students.

“The district will no longer put money or man hours into fixing any hallways with lockers in them.”