Every school year it was important to find out where our locker was located. I mean it really did make or break the whole year. Were your friends nearby? Where were they in location to your classes? It was important.

Oh, and then once we found where they were the next important thing was getting it ready. We could decorate it with posters. We needed to make sure we had a mirror for those make-up touch-up emergencies. We kept everything we needed in them.

credit: Kristen Hunt
credit: Kristen Hunt

So to imagine that not being a thing anymore really surprised me. I really haven't thought much about lockers since I graduated but thinking about them brought back nostalgia. Almost like thinking about Trapper Keepers. They were important to my high school days too.

So I was amazed to see my friend, Kristen, mention this:

Can someone in AISD please explain to me why lockers aren’t used anymore and most are locked with zip ties?
I know it’s been this way for a long while but now it’s affecting one of my kids, having to carry a 30 lbs backpack all day, then to the chiro in the afternoon, etc.
I don’t know whose idea it was taking away the lockers but I’m more than happy to tell them they’re a freaking idiot!
Is this normal here in the Texas Panhandle? No lockers? I couldn't even imagine this back in my days at school. I know that really is making me sound old, but really? Oh and to zip tie the ones we have shut. So don't even think of using them.
credit: Kristen Hunt
credit: Kristen Hunt

So I had to ask. Is this normal? I was told that the newer schools weren't even built with lockers anymore. I mean except for the athletic lockers. You sure aren't getting a locker in the hall. I do understand that school is not like it was. Having a locker now can be seen as a safety issue. No lockers so it's harder to sneak in weapons and such.

Teacher here- we do not give out lockers because of safety. This is a great place to hide an array of things.
The kids do not have text books anymore and most teachers keep student notebooks/folders in the room. They should need a backpack to hold paper, pencil and maybe a chromebook.
It todays day and age- safety is 1st. Is it inconvenient, absolutely. But we want our babies safe!! - Kim

This is school now. These are the things we have to worry about. I also think about hauling all of those books. Some schools still have books so it is a concern. With all the books and other notebooks and binders, it can really kill students back.

My son went to Amarillo High from 2016-2020, and they did not give lockers at that time. You could have one if requested but the campus is so large that most kids just carried their backpacks everywhere. Band kids had lockers for their instruments in the band room.

Here is the part I didn’t like about them not having a locker. Each teacher required ridiculous things, such as 2 inch binders and a composition notebook. Try fitting 12 to 16 inches of binders inside a backpack plus a Chromebook, plus a pencil bag and calculator and composition notebooks, etc! It was insane. We weighed his backpack one day and it was over 30 pounds. He had to carry that all day! - Marci

I asked my friends about their kid's schools these days. It seems lockers are mostly a thing of the past unless you are in band or athletics. So those kids can't bring unquestionable things into school too? I mean I don't get it.

My son hasn’t had a locker since elementary school. He’s a junior in HS now at Caprock. - Maryssa

It's not just the schools in Amarillo.

My kids could get one at Randall but they had to go ask. They just used their tennis locker or Sidney's car for everything. - Brenda

Getting to and from classes has always been an issue. Apparently, it's still a thing.

 At Canyon HS it was an option to have a locker or not. Most students chose not to because between classes there was only 5 minutes to get to the next class and if you were late you would get a detention. - Berkley
So, I get the safety aspect of the lockers. There just has to be a way to not make those backpacks so heavy. I mean the sheer fact of carrying that much all day, every day does and will lead to back issues.
Even schools without books require stuff like binders and notebooks. You multiply that by seven or eight classes and that is a lot. Even with lockers, in my day, it seems the backpacks were heavy and that may be why I see a chiropractor once a month.
So what is the answer? We need to come up with a solution that benefits every student.

The Abandoned School House Outside of Canyon, Texas

This was once the Jowell School. Built in 1901, the building was the cornerstone of the teeny tiny farming community of Jowell.

The building had been rebuilt and restored in the late '80s or 90s before vandals destroyed it in an act of arson. What remains of the Jowell School sits in a desolate part of rolling farmland between the small towns of Canyon and Happy, Texas.

25 Landmarks of Amarillo and the Texas Panhandle

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