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Opening Edison High’s Locker Dilemma

Aayush Gupta ’27
Un-renovated lockers in the East Wing’s second floor. Over the summer, locker renovations began throughout the school, but as of publication, new lockers have yet to be issued to Edison students.

Drowsy students walk through the halls of Edison High School carrying a day’s workload in their heavy school backpacks. Almost nine weeks into the 2023–2024 academic year, Edison High students have yet to receive access to school lockers. As winter comes along, students are likely to bring coats and jackets to school, which creates a problem of its own: Where do students store these items when they enter the building?

The absence of lockers crowds school classrooms. Clusters of backpacks congest space, posing a tripping hazard and also creating a cramped environment. The inability to store unused books, heavy coats, and lunches only increases the weight and inconveniences on a student throughout the day. That said, some students believe that lockers aren’t necessary, and that they are only a burden to keep clean. These students, who often only bring in “essentials” to school, believe that lockers are gratuitous, serving no purpose in the modern students’ school day.

Lockers at Edison High were upgraded over the summer, but why haven’t they been distributed yet? When it comes to lockers, what does Edison High think of them?

The absence of lockers has been tough, especially having to carry around excess books and material you really don’t need.

— Mahesh Jonnaljada ‘26

Why is there a delay for lockers at Edison High, and what does the administration think about it?

With 2,300 students and even more lockers, Edison High hosts a large community. This year, the school expected all old lockers to be replaced, but only received a portion of the installations. This created confusion, according to Principal Mr. Charles Ross, who first took off existing locks before reassigning all 2,300 lockers back to students. Ross has finished assigning all student lockers but hasn’t yet physically attached locks or input combinations into the school database.

”We are a little late this year, gimme minus ten points,” said Ross when asked about this year’s locker delivery. However, Ross also pointed out that “when kids get their lockers, they still carry their backpacks”—a trend he attributed to the change in school policy eight years ago, when a successful student petition convinced him to allow backpacks to be brought around the school. Ross also worries that assigning lockers will only increase overcrowding in Edison High hallways, as opening a locker not only takes up space, but also a fair amount of time. Nevertheless, Ross asserted his commitment to installing lockers before heavy coats and snow gear become commonplace.

The installation of lockers is part of a broader group of projects that Ross and his administration dedicate to making the school a better place for students and staff. This past summer, for example, Ross oversaw the air conditioning installation in the cafeteria.

“We are always trying to make things better,” explained Ross. “Sometimes, there is a bump when you are trying to improve things.”

Ross plans to implement a system that ensures students receive the same lock, locker, and locker combination for their entire four years at Edison High, an initiative already carried out at Thomas Jefferson Middle School, where students keep locks and combinations but receive a change in locker numbers. Starting next year, freshmen would receive their lockers and locks from their entry to the nest, and they would keep them until they graduate. Ross also elaborated that he hopes to digitize locker data by adding locker numbers and combinations to Genesis, which would supply students with a place to retrieve their combinations if needed.

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How are students and teachers at Edison High affected by the locker dilemma?

Students are split over lockers at Edison High, and teachers often feel overcrowded in classrooms.

“Everyone should have an opportunity to have a locker, and it is a hassle to carry heavy items around,” said Vinuthna Yerra ‘27. “I constantly forget my jacket around the school, and I have to waste class time to get it.”

Other students complained of having to carry jackets and unused materials around.

“The absence of lockers has been tough, especially having to carry around excess books and material you really don’t need,” said Mahesh Jonnaljada ‘26.

Both students mentioned the problem of having to carry heavy items around and misplacing them during the school day. ​​As the colder months approach, jackets become a necessity, which further drives a desire for locker access. Mornings at Edison High, during which physical education classes must go outside in forty-five degree weather, further elevate the need to bring jackets and raise the problem of having to carry them around during the school day.

We are always trying to make things better. Sometimes, there is a bump when you are trying to improve things.

— Mr. Charles Ross

Teachers also expressed concern over classroom overcrowding, as there is already limited space to accommodate the constantly growing student population. The absence of lockers has only exacerbated this issue, forcing students to carry their heavy backpacks throughout the day. This results in congested classrooms with backpacks strewn across the floor, limiting the room for movement and interaction. As such, teachers have voiced concerns about monitoring students and creating an organized environment conducive to learning.

“It is a hassle when I’m trying to monitor my student’s work by trying to get around bookbags, already worsened by the congested classroom,” said U.S. History teacher Ms. Sherri Massoud.

However, some students are unbothered by the lack of locker space.

“Lockers really aren’t a big deal to me,” said Adarsh Godavarthi ‘26. “I believe that they are instead a hassle to take care of and clean. I don’t find them necessary as I carry the essentials I need, leaving room in my backpack for winter accessories.”

To students like Godavarthi, lockers create more problems than they alleviate.

“It makes it easier to move from class to class since you only have five minutes,” he said. “It also provides a clean way to get through my school day without locker problems, such as forgetting your combination.”

These students argue that carrying their belongings in their backpacks makes them more mobile and flexible, allowing them to move between different classes efficiently and freely. They also appreciate the sense of independence the backpacks provide, and see the absence of locker access as a way to declutter their lives and move towards a minimalistic approach to the hectic nature of school life.

Even as such discussions take place, students can continue to carry their backpacks around the school without needing to worry about their lockers.

What is the relative timeline for when students can expect to receive locker assignments?

Ross anticipates completing locker assignments by the “spooky season.” He mentioned that he is done with assigning lockers but is still in the process of fitting locks on lockers and adding locker information to student Genesis pages. He affirmed that he will have lockers ready for students after they return from Fall Recess, but definitely before Thanksgiving.

A tentative deadline for students to receive lockers is by Thanksgiving, after returning from Fall Break.

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About the Contributors
AAYUSH CHHABRA '27, Staff Writer
Aayush is a staff writer for the Eagle's Eye Newsletter. He is extremely dedicated in everything he does, whether it be devoting hours to piano or thoroughly exploring the complexities of cellular biology. Starting as a freshman, he hopes to deliver insightful articles that inform, entertain, and inspire our readers.
Aayush Gupta ’27
Aayush Gupta ’27, Staff Writer
Aayush is a writer and photographer for the Eagle's Eye. When not writing and taking pictures, Aayush participates in many activities such as, Model UN and the Robotics Team. Aayush has immense interest in Swimming and is on the EHS Swim Team while also co-coaching his swim team outside of school and lifeguarding at the Edison and Piscataway YMCA.
TRISTAN LEE '27, Staff Writer
Tristan is a writer for the Eagles Eye. It is his first year and he is a freshman. When he is not writing for the Newspaper, he participates in the school's Model UN and DECA program.
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