(Copyright 1994. The Tattoo. All rights reserved.)

The Tattoo

--- Making a Permanent Impression Since 1994 ---

April 23, 1994

-- Opinion --

Unlocking the mysteries of school lockers

By Corrie Balash

The Tattoo

Unless you have lived in the forest or were raised by wolves,
or you have been a genius your whole life and haven't gone
to school, you have seen a locker.

Bristol Central High School has lockers it allows students to
use. Other than that fact, there is little known about lockers.

I tried to fill that void by doing a thorough investigation. I
hope that by being informed no one will take for granted a
good locker. I know I won't.

My experiences with lockers at Central have been unusual
and extremely frustrating. Being branded with a "B" last
name confines me to the basement for home room. I will
have to frequent this dungeon in the morning for the rest of
high school.

I detest having a locker there.

Freshman year I had no classes down there. I couldn't drop
off books without being late to class. Few teachers were

I don't look like a weightlifting champion, but after carrying
tons in my book bag, my upper body is quite strong.

When sophomore year came, wiser and still irritated to have
such an inconvenient locker, I decided to find a different one.

But I wasn't an upperclassman and couldn't kick a freshman
out of his precious locker.

I found a deserted locker on the first floor next to my friend.
I could understand why. The door was constantly stuck as if
Crazy Glue was in the hinges. I ended up having to exercise
my arms to yank the locker open, but at least I had one.

I bought a few small key locks for it, which were repeatedly
stolen. But no one ever took my possessions inside, maybe
because it looked like a garbage heap.

I finally purchased a $10 combination lock which stayed with
me for the rest of the year. The only problem was, I kept
changing the combination so that no one could get in, then I
ended up forgetting my last combination at the end of the
year. I can never use that lock again.

At the end of the first week of school, I thought I should put
my new books in my assigned locker. I was astounded when
I saw a lock on it.

Before I went to breakfast, I temporarily placed my books in
the empty adjoining locker. When I returned from the
cafeteria 15 minutes later, there was a lock on the locker that
held my books!

I had no idea how I was going to explain the events that had
passed to the only available administrator.

I guess nothing can come easily.

I was told the locks wouldn't be cut off and no action would
be done by the school. My books were trapped in a locker
and it was up to me to find a way to get them out.

Before lunch that day, in the corner of my eye, I saw a kid
walking to the locker where my books were. I changed my
direction to see if he would open it.

As he did, I told him quickly that I needed my books "thank
you very much!" He was dumbfounded, of course.

What surprised me was that the only things in the locker
belonged to me. Why on earth did he put a lock on it? I just
took my books and left.

I gave up on my assigned locker and gradually adopted my
boyfriend's locker. It was conveniently located on the first
floor. We just divided the space in half.

It was helpful to share because I was reminded to bring
things, so I didn't forget my books for class.

As a senior now, I maximize space by using a locker on each

Upperclass students at Central definitely have much to
complain about.

Students are worried about their locks being stolen. Most
students pay about $5 for locks, usually with combinations.

When I ask people if they ever get their locks stolen, they
generally say "yes, who hasn't gotten their lock swiped?"

The people who never got their lock stolen just say "not yet."

Most students wonder if it really matters whether they protect
their lockers with a lock. To prevent locker theft, is a 10-inch
steel padlock necessary?

Some students who got fed up with having their possessions
stolen vacated their lockers.

One junior had her treasured leather jacket stolen so she
carries everything with her.

A senior guy finds his car useful to hold books.

A bitter senior girl who had her lock stolen five times uses
the art teacher's closet as an alternative. This senior girl
advocates punishment a tad milder than the death penalty.
She thinks anyone should be able to chop off violators'

Possibly it would help is the lockers had built-in locks.. The
knobs should be more secure and not so prone to falling off.

The majority of people want bigger lockers. People who have
books for seven classes complain they need more space.

The necessities of life -- such as food, clothes and
skateboards -- should fit inside lockers.

One gripe from a junior; "They're not as big as the ones that
Vinny Barbarino and Jimmy 'Boom-Boom' Washington had
on 'Welcome Back, Kotter.'"

A senior whines, "The lockers are too small to jump into
between classes with a loved one."

Trying to make their lockers less drab, some students
decorate them with stickers to create a masterpiece -- and are
upset when they find someone else gets to look at their
cheery pictures.

Some artistic students want their boring locker colors
changed. They want something flashier, like orange and red.
One student prefers polka dots.

I have been greatly disappointed with my lockers, but I had
no idea so many people shared my disgust.

Before the Board of Education starts vainly worrying about
obvious, trivial problems, it should consider the wide-ranging
locker dilemma. Then the quality of education will surely

But that's just my opinion.