Pandemic keeps lockers locked


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The pandemic has caused Decatur to not allow students to access their lockers, in hopes of stopping the spread of the virus.

The world has held their breath throughout the past year and a half with all the changes to attend to, hoping to stop the spread of the pandemic.

Although every student is back on campus to learn, Decatur students still have unusual requests and procedures to attend to, such as not accessing lockers.

Stephen Decatur High School, Stephen Decatur Middle School, and Berlin Intermediate School’s lockers all have been restricted this year because of the “Covid limitations to maintain guidelines and safety,” said Decatur Assistant Principal Trevor Hill.

“Lockers are stacked on top of each other, and the school is trying to keep kids apart to not spread the virus,” he said. “Using lockers right next to each other contradicts the COVID guidelines that the state and school board set.”

Students have mixed feelings about not having lockers this year. Those in favor of not having lockers enjoy the concept of saving time throughout the school day. Many times students forget materials needed for class and have to return back to their lockers before, or during class.

“It’s nice to have everything with you and not having to leave class if you forgot something,” said Senior Malery Andrews. “It’s also nice not having to go to the other side of the building to go to your locker in between classes.”

Furthermore, not using lockers alleviates the crammed hallway hassle of making it to your locker just to get the next period’s materials. Many students used their locker time in between classes to socialize and mess around, making them late or unprepared for class.

“It’s a lot better with kids not using lockers because of some student’s bad intentions with their time management while at their lockers,” Mr. Hill said. “Talking or messing around with each other creates an intensity in our school that is avoidable when not accessing lockers.”

However, not everyone is adapting the same to the new locker procedures, and many students are not in favor of the new changes.

Because school materials differ based on students’ classes, some may have to carry more materials than others –meaning, many students find it to be a nuisance to carry heavy materials around on top of their lunches and sweatshirts.

Not having any space to keep belongings makes it difficult to stay organized throughout the school year, said Junior Eva Luzier.

“I like to bring extra things to school like a sweatshirt or a water bottle, things that I may need available at all times,” she said. “I don’t want to carry around a bag of personal belongings all day, I’d rather have my own space to keep things safe and feel comfortable with knowing my things are locked up.”

In the future, future Decatur students will adapt well to these changes by living without lockers through intermediate and middle school, noted Mr. Hill. Current Decatur students will have adapt to these restrictions in order for our school and our county to attend “normal” school days in-person.

It’s possible that Decatur students might not get to use their lockers again for years, Mr. Hill said.

“Most likely we will not for a few years until the virus is more controlled,” he said.