OPINION: Give Us Our Lockers Back!

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by Lonye Scott

Sure, COVID-19 sucks. But it’s no excuse for the major undeniable crisis facing our school hallways every day: the absence of locker access.

Without the access of lockers, everyone at The Chicago High School for the Arts (ChiArts) is so impacted together in the halls. All the unnecessary items that could have been stored inside the lockers are now In the hands of over 600 kids, roaming the halls en route to their classes. 

We’ve been told that access to lockers is being denied in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19. This is ridiculous. I would argue that having access to lockers would actually do more to prevent the spread than one might think.

People are constantly stopping in the middle of the hallways to have conversations. This could be avoided by having conversations at LOCKERS! This would lead to more open space and more social distancing. 

Beyond COVID-19 protocol, it would also benefit the shoulders of we poor students who have the pain of carrying around everything that we cannot store away. Personally, given access to a locker, I would leave all my other class notebooks and folders inside the locker until I needed them. 

Without lockers, I am forced to carry everything in my bag, making me hold more weight. This is school not Planet Fitness! If admin is telling us to work out more, I wish they’d be more straightforward about it.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I completely understand the importance of COVID-19 restrictions. What I don’t understand is why so many other high schools — Lincoln Park, Lane Tech, North Grand — have access to lockers. And these are schools with triple the size of students! I see no reason why little ole ChiArts couldn’t do the same. 

It makes me extremely uncomfortable being so close to people and having to end my last high school year in stress. Like applying and waiting for college acceptance letters isn’t hard enough. 

We have enough lockers in this building for each student to have one. Learning to organize, decorate, and understand locks is an important life skill, and shown a rite of passage according to every high school movie. We grew up watching these, hoping to have similar experiences. I feel tricked! 

Of course the movies didn’t have COVID-19. But please, let’s think smart about this and consider lockers again! For everyone’s happiness and safety.

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