Patrick Murphy

Out with the lockers and in with the new. Seminole High School is removing the lockers in order to free up walkways and cut down tardies.
Photo By: Brea Jones, Photographer

Disclaimer: the following article was written as a part of The Seminole’s 2015 April Fool’s issue. The content included is false, including interviews. The signs around campus were also our doing. Happy April Fool’s Day!

By: Patrick Murphy, Reporter and Logan Zelk, Reporter

After a meeting with the SCPS school board on March 10, Dr. Connie Collins with the approval of the committee has made the decision to remove all lockers from the Seminole High School campus. The lockers will be removed over the summer of 2015, and the school will be locker-free at the beginning of the 2015-16 school year.

One of the reasons cited for the removal of lockers, and the primary issue, was that it would reduce tardiness. Crooms High School cites that tardies reduced by a large 47% in the first year without lockers compared to previous years with lockers. Officials state that students have fewer stops to accommodate into their busy schedules, and thus more time to get to class.

Freshman Michael Hawke says, “You know, no lockers doesn’t sound that bad. It might mean we have to carry more stuff, but sounds like I get to exercise between class to me.”

Collins stated that without the lockers the hallways will be significantly wider. A row of lockers at Seminole are 1.31 feet wide; the hallways themselves are 9.54 feet in width. Without these lockers the halls will be an astonishing 12.17 feet wide. This newly added space will lend itself to remedy several issues.

One mentioned benefit to a locker-less high school is related to aggression. A high school without lockers leads to school with slower lanes, as students don’t have to rush to lockers to get school materials and then rush to class. With slower speeds come fewer incidents that often spur aggressive action, such as bumping and student collisions, which can lead to aggressive retaliation. The feeling of being cramped creates sensations of claustrophobia that bother students and agitates others, thus adding the the aggressive reactiveness of students.

Junior Sierra Palatino says, “The halls are so cramped that you can’t help but bump into random people. Most people understand, but some people get angry if you bump into them.”

More space not only means fewer collisions and aggressive behavior, but better sanitary conditions as well. A major proponent of disease is cramped spaces and close quarters between sick people, marked especially by the infamous peaks of flu during winter. Cramped halls are no exception, especially with the high traffic that involves the 3,600 students of Seminole High. More space means more breathing room, and less disease transferred.

Sophomore Taylor Franklin says, “I think that no lockers aren’t that bad of an idea. If it gives us more space to walk then I like that, I always have trouble leaving my classes because of the thousands of kids trying to walk out of the building. I feel like it’s easier to avoid people and they aren’t coughing down my neck.”

One of the concerns from students and parents alike is that the missing lockers will intensify the load that students must carry between classes, and cause or exacerbate health conditions, such as scoliosis or detrimental back posture. Collins says that these issues are a great concern but easily addressed. She mentions an initiative where the school will sell rolling backpacks by the gym or at the student store at a reduced rate throughout the 2015-16 year. Also noted is the rapidly increasing rate of school books and related materials becoming digital, and thus the physical burden is greatly reduced concurrently with the locker removal.

Collins says, “The anticipated reaction to lockers is one of blasé, as one can predict from observation. As over a third of the lockers aren’t even used throughout the year, the lockers themselves seem to waste space, wasting away in an era that moves past them. With better health, better unity, and better attendance, removing lockers seems only reasonable. As Maya Angelou once said, ‘Nothing will work unless you do.’”