New policy bans overnight lock usage


Anuj Khemka

Locks secure many of the cubbies at Jefferson, including this one in the audlob.

Christina Lu, Staff Writer

A new cubby policy starting Monday, Jan. 20 will prohibit using locks on cubbies after school-hours. If a lock is still on by the end of the day, it will be removed by custodians. Furthermore, any lunch bags found after school, including in both unlocked and locked cubbies, will be removed of food-containers and then put in the lost and found.

Safety & Security Assistant Charles Phillips cites several health concerns regarding food being left in lockers and lunch bags overnight.

“We have found a large number of locked cubbies that have food secured in them for days. This is creating a potential health hazard with increased mice and insects visiting those areas,” Phillips said.

The overnight use of locks is also limiting the availability of cubby space, which was not designed for students to own permanently. 

“All students need equal access to cubbies, and cubbies being secured for weeks at a time limits equitable availability. Cubbies are considered temporary storage areas for daytime use only,” Phillips said. 

This new policy will impact the entire student body, and it has stirred up mixed reactions. For example, freshman basketball player Vani Gupta shares a food locker with her team, which will no longer be allowed to store their snacks overnight.

“Every game day, we as a team bring food and put it in that locker. This gives us freedom to visit the locker whenever we want throughout the school day, as we know that it’s locked and nobody will eat it,” Gupta said.

As a basketball player, she also doesn’t believe this decision accounts for TJ’s many sports teams.

“ I used to lock my basketball shoes at school because we have practice everyday and it’s just easier when I don’t have to carry them with me every single day along with jerseys and shorts. However with no locks, I stopped leaving them at school because basketball shoes are expensive and I didn’t want anyone taking them,”

Sophomore Erin Tran shines light onto other circumstances where permanent locks would be necessary.

“School projects (e.g. Romeo and Juliet plays) or just general storage of school-related items (binders, computers, etc.) definitely require overnight storage,” Tran said.

At the end of the day, Tran still supports TJ’s cubby system over the alternative lockers that most schools use.

“With lockers, you aren’t allowed to choose where it is or whether you want to lock it or not,” Tran said. “The reason that TJ students like cubbies is the flexibility and choice.”