Lockers can be used to store all sorts of things that high school students need. Textbooks, notebooks, jackets and gloves … and raw chicken livers?
Yes, students seem to have a wide range of views toward the metal “cubby” assigned to them for their four years at Fairmont.
As freshmen, students get their schedules, a map of the Fairmont campus and the combination to their locker. It’s practically a rite of passage for ninth-graders to spend time practicing their combination so they won’t be embarrassed now that they’re in high school.
For some students, that locker remains important throughout high school as a home base, a meeting place and a place to store all sorts of essential — as well as some whimsical — items. Others ignore their lockers, finding them inconveniently located on the sprawling campus.
Although the lockers are assigned for four years, students are supposed to empty them every spring. When they don’t, the job falls to the custodians.
Head Custodian Brian Marker says that when students leave after the last exam, the custodians go to work.
“We remove all the stuff in the lockers. We throw the trash away, and then we clean them and get them ready for the following year,” he said.
Marker said items of value are turned into the office. “If they do find any electronics, they’ll turn that kind of stuff into the office,” he said. “The clothing usually goes to the clothing room over at the board office if nobody claims them.”
Custodian Nathan Hisel says students leave a lot of interesting things in their lockers. He has found the usual calculators, watches, cell phones and iPods. But then there are the unusual items.
One of the strangest things Hisel says he ever found was raw chicken livers that a student was using for fishing bait, but the grossest thing Hisel has discovered was a locker full of old lunches.
Then there was the locker that was filled top to bottom with Pop-Tarts. “That was mind-blowing,” he said.
Many students, it seems, don’t need to worry about cleaning their lockers at the end of the year … because they never use them.
Freshman Jacob Holbrook is one of those students. “I don’t use it because it’s South Unit, and all of my classes are in East and Central,” Holbrook said. “ I would probably use my locker if it was closer to my classes.”
Sophomore Kayla Brightwell has a different reason for not taking advantage of her locker. “I don’t use my locker because I can fit everything in my backpack,” she said.
Sophomore Shane Cash has similar thoughts. “I keep all my work and things I need in my backpack, so I don’t use my locker,” he said. “I just think it’s kind of pointless.”
And then there are some people who choose to share a friend’s locker or find another alternative. Sophomore Emily Rogers uses her band locker.
“I usually keep jackets in there during the winter, but other times I keep all sorts of stuff in there. I don’t use my actual locker,” said Rogers, admitting that she doesn’t even know where her regular locker is located.
But many students do put their assigned lockers to good use. Sophomore Abbey Siler keeps an assortment of items in her locker.
“I store a lot of my clothing in there, like pants, shirts and jackets,” Siler said. “I do keep some of my stuff that I need for classes in there.”
Junior Samuel Floyd keeps another essential item for a teen. “I store snacks in my locker,” he said.
Lockers can be organized or look like a hurricane hit them.
“It all depends on what day it is,” Rogers said of her band locker. “Sometimes it messy, and other times it’s clean.”