Overcrowding soulution: Remove the lockers


Photo by Nour Faragallah

During the class transition, hallway traffic is a huge problem. Yet, lockers are taking up half the hallways.

When it comes to overcrowding in Walter Johnson, everything has been said but not everything has been done. The long-term solution to overcrowding is the reopening of Woodward high school. But short-term solutions haven’t been suggested. 

One of the biggest problems of overcrowding is hallway traffic. There are so many students walking in the halls during every single transition time. Some students aren’t eager as others to get to class, as they instead socialize and as a result block out some of the walking space. 

This is also a much bigger problem this year because of the schedule changes. Because we have a longer lunch, we now only have 5 minutes in transition time compared to the previous 6 minutes. That change highlights the hallway traffic problem even more. 

When roads get clogged up by traffic, local governments widen the roads. Our school should do that. And the only way to widen the hallways is to remove the lockers. 

A well-known fact about WJ is that few students use lockers. They just carry everything in their backpacks. That is why only freshmen are assigned lockers at the beginning of the year, to help with the transition from middle school to high school and everyone else would have to request a locker if they wanted one. 

In my freshmen year, I didn’t need my locker at all. I didn’t even know where my locker was located. And in my 4 years of high school, I have never seen someone using their locker. While the lockers are a signature look of the average American high school, removing the lockers is merely a way to adapt to our growing school. 

WJ would not be the first, as our neighboring state of Virginia, in Albemarle County Public Schools removed their lockers after they weren’t being used by students anymore. Instead, they replaced three hallways of lockers with benches, whiteboards and charging outlets so students could continue collaborating on assignments in the hallways.

WJ could get creative, in the back hallways where lockers take up half the hallway, remove them and make them walking space. And in hallways where the lockers are pinned to the wall and don’t take up as much space, they can be made into benches for students to sit and have lunch instead of the usual floor sitting. 

While some might view this suggestion as radical or unnecessary, you have to look at it a bit more generally. Simply, if there is something that isn’t being used and is in fact actually taking up needless space, then removing it is the way.