All over the world, the debate as to the advantages or otherwise of school lockers continues to rage.
For their own personal reasons – some of which make more sense than others – there are still plenty of people who believe that there’s no requirement for lockers in schools. To such an extent that they even campaign to have them removed where present. A somewhat extreme standpoint, but again, some have their arguments to present.
On the other side of the fence, you have those who genuinely believe that school lockers are not only advantageous, but essential for educational environments in general. Their argument is that pupils and students of all ages benefit enormously from having lockers at their schools and colleges, which should under no circumstances be removed. Or if not already present, should be installed immediately.
But why is it that so many campaign groups are adamant that lockers should be brought into every educational environment? What is it about relatively simple school lockers that can have such an enormous impact on the overall experience for students?
In general, there are six primary arguments voiced by pro-locker campaigners, which look a little like this:
One of the main arguments in favour of school lockers in all educational environments is that of basic security. Now more than ever, students of all ages attend school and college with all manner of valuable and important possessions on their person. From laptops to mobile phones right through to jewellery and so on, they carry the kinds of possessions that need to be taken care of. In the chaos of the average educational environment, things inevitably go missing from time to time. It’s even impossible to rule out the prospect of theft and criminal damage, which occur surprisingly often in schools up and down the country.
When you provide students with lockers, you provide them with a safe and secure place to store their valuables. Not only does this mean greater protection for their most important and valuable items, but also the peace of mind that comes with knowing your property is safe. Rather than focusing on taking care of valuables throughout the day, they’re instead free to divert their attention to more important matters. School lockers save students, teachers and parents alike from the unpleasantness of dealing with the aftermath of personal property going missing.
It’s also routinely argued that school lockers provide kids of all ages with a unique and valuable opportunity to take care of their own possessions. Taking responsibility for important items represents a critically important life lesson, which should be introduced to kids as early as possible. When you provide kids with lockers, you provide them with the opportunity to safeguard important possessions and generally organise their daily activities like an adult.
Lockers can also help instil a sense of respect for valuable items. Both in terms of their own property and that of their fellow students. A significantly better approach than allowing important and expensive possessions to simply be thrown in a standard school bag and subjected to rather intensive daily abuse.
- Health and safety
From a scientific perspective, there is also one very good reason why lockers really should be brought into every educational environment. Studies into the habit of students – particularly younger pupils – have found that those required to carry all their possessions around with them throughout the day are significantly more likely to suffer from back pain, neck pain and a variety of related issues. These days, students are often required to carry not only traditional textbooks and learning materials, but also laptops, smartphones, chargers and so on. All of which can quickly add up to an extremely heavy bag to be carried with them throughout the day.
Lockers provide students with a safe and convenient place to store everything they don’t immediately require, retrieving their possessions as and when needed. This not only helps eliminate the problem of carrying around heavy backpacks, but also makes every aspect of the educational process so much more convenient.
- Fewer Distractions
Another problem that occurs in the absence of lockers is the elevated likelihood of students and pupils succumbing to distraction. These days, the overwhelming majority of students carry electronic devices like smartphones with them on a daily basis. Most schools choose not to impose outright bans on such devices, given that they can play an important role in the educational process. However, keeping smartphones and related devices out of the classroom during lessons is something the vast majority of teachers would prefer to do.
Studies have even shown that when pupils are required to keep their smartphones in their lockers during class time, they benefit from a more effective educational experience. Where lockers are not provided, students effectively have no choice but to take them with them into the classroom, ultimately leading to distraction.
While there is of course much to be said for the uniformity of schooling environments, it’s also important to provide students with the opportunity to express themselves. Particularly in instances where uniform dress codes apply, students have little to no creative outlet to explore who they are and demonstrate their personalities. This is one of the reasons why many believe lockers play a uniquely important role in the general education and development of youngsters.
From photos to wallpaper to magnets to LED lighting systems, lockers provide students with a tiny place of the building that’s 100% their own. A small yet homely place they can do absolutely anything they want with, expressing their personalities and enjoying total creative freedom. In fact, it’ss relatively common in the United States for schools to regularly host creative locker design competitions. Kids being actively encouraged to get creative with their lockers, the most impressive examples of all winning their respective owners prizes!
Last but not least, advocates also argue that it is of critical importance to provide every student with at least a small space within the facility that is 100% private. It’s not as if students in general are inclined to bring prohibited items into school environments, but having a place that provides a sense of privacy really can be beneficial.
Once again, it all comes down to the way in which lockers can nurture independence, creativity and the development of the respective youngster’s personality. Even from a young age, these are important life lessons to begin learning.
Not only is it clear that there are countless benefits to school lockers, there are also little to no cogent arguments against their installation. Particularly with such affordable and versatile locker systems available, it’s hard to think of any good reason why any educational facility would not provide every student with their own private storage space.
From doctors to child psychologists to leading academics, most people vote firmly in favour of school lockers. A simple yet effective addition to school environments that really can make all the difference for pupils and students of all ages.
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