Locked Rooms

The+High+School%27s+attempt+solving+the+under-aged+vaping+problem+%28Mark+Liberko%29

The High School’s attempt solving the under-aged vaping problem (Mark Liberko)

Mark Liberko

Our school is infringing on your basic human rights. The United States is based on principles that would ensure every person is able to do and act freely, so long as their actions don’t inflict pain or turmoil unto others. For too long schools have been able to get away with forcing children into doing what they want and punishing them for not complying. But the most egregious act by far is that of locking the locker rooms between classes.

Two years ago the high school decided to lock the locker rooms during classes and lunch in order to stop students from vaping and to stop them from hanging out in there in general. Students would often spend free hours or just a few minutes in there with the comfort of the fact that they wouldn’t be interrupted. It was a fortress of solitude. This did mean that a few students thought it the perfect place to vape and so the school closed them down. They punished the entire student body for the actions of just a few individuals, an act that directly violates the Geneva Convention’s law of collective punishment. The act of locking the locker rooms violates our rights as students, and there’s almost nothing we can do about it.

Now, I’m sure the district didn’t intend to lower the quality of life for their students, but that’s all they did. What locking the locker rooms accomplished was making it impossible for anyone that wanted to stop by and grab some deodorant out of their gym locker because they are stress sweating. It added strain to anyone who was in marching band and had to go to the locker rooms to change out of their sopping wet shoes before class. Every time a student is running late to school they end up being even later because they have to take the time to find someone to unlock the rooms to let them drop off their things. And, every time a student had to leave school early they would have to look around for ten minutes and find one of the PE teachers to come and give them access to their things. I once even had a gym teacher refuse to unlock the locker rooms so that I could grab my belongings and leave, essentially stealing my things from me and holding them against my will.

The whole purpose of locking them was to stop students from vaping, but speaking from personal experience it hasn’t even done that. And, with the addition of vape detectors in every bathroom and the locker rooms, locking them to prevent vaping is simply redundant. Unlocking the locker rooms would greatly improve the quality of life for not only the students, but also for the faculty who have to take precious time out of their day to unlock a door. And as long as the vape detectors are present, the presence of vapers will be mitigated. The whole situation makes you wonder if the school really cares about you, or if they’re just blowing smoke.