On any given morning at DHS groups of students cluster around rows of lockers, jostling to get to their school supplies and books. Some gingerly open their locker doors, trying not to hit the students packed in around them. Others struggle to keep their belongings from tumbling out of their lockers altogether.
During passing periods and after school, it’s more of the same. But why are all the locker blocks so crowded?
At DHS, students must share lockers with a partner, since the school doesn’t have the funds to build more.
“It’s financial,” counselor Courtenay Tessler said. “We would love to have a locker for everyone, but lockers are expensive.”
With two students to every locker, the foot traffic around each block of lockers is considerably increased. Junior Tim McIntyre has noticed the crowding.
“The area of lockers around us is much more crowded than it was last year,” he said.
But the crowds around the lockers aren’t the only issue that has students irritated.
“Sometimes when I’m walking to my locker, my partner will have just closed and locked it,” sophomore Stewart Green said. “I don’t really like it. I wish I had my own locker.”
And for some, just getting to their lockers presents a challenge.
“Since it’s stacked, one locker on top, one on the bottom, you usually have to wait because top lockers seem to be a priority,” sophomore Ben Baek said. “I have a bottom locker, so I have to wait.”
Others have problems keeping their lockers organized.
“The only problem that has arisen in sharing a locker is the lack of space [and] organization,” student Shane Pesis said. “Ross [Kelly] and I just cram in our stuff and slam the locker until it closes!”
“[We] just throw [our] books in and close it quickly before anything falls out,” sophomore Gretchen Huston said.
The amount of space depends upon the age of the lockers. Students with newer lockers have much more space to work with, while the older lockers are smaller. The older ones are the same size as the ones at Holmes Junior High, which accommodate one student each.
“I have one of the new ones, so there’s enough space for both of us,” McIntyre said.
Even with all the problems students are having, many do see a silver lining in sharing lockers.
“My locker buddy is one of my very good friends, so seeing him during passing periods as a result of sharing a locker is nice,” McIntyre said.
And, added Pesis, “it saves locker space for the school.”
Students have also found ways to cope with the lack of space.
“We have a shelf that splits the locker pretty evenly in two. He gets the bottom half, I get the top half. So in a sense, we each have our own locker,” McIntyre said.