The locker room is a place that is extremely useful for both gym class and sports. However, parents and students have created a misconception that the locker room is a dangerous place. Some say that students use dirty locker room talk, and steal gym clothes and other items from classmates. But worst of all, adults and incoming kids see it as a place of hazing. As a result, incoming freshmen and some overprotective parents are fearful of the idea of using the locker room. Some students even skip changing in the locker room out of fear that someone may steal their items or haze them. Doing so is foolish because the locker room is not a hostile environment.
In the locker room, everyone is either trying to get to their practice or class. After practice or a game, the athletes would want to go home and eat or shower. No one wants to waste time bullying others. Also, coaches are frequently in the locker room so that hazing would be nearly impossible. Due to recent scandals in other schools and fraternities, most kids think before making a poor decision such as bullying others in any way. Finally, if it comes to the point where someone hazes another student, others will hopefully step up and put an end to it. A hazing scandal can ruin a team’s season, or hurt someone’s record, so students will try to put an end to the hazing if it occurs. Overall, the chances of hazing happening in a locker room are relatively low, especially at Ridgewood High School.
As far as stealing goes, if you keep your locker locked, then your items will not get stolen. The only time someone will take your clothes is if your locker is open, and they need gym clothes. To avoid this, just lock it, and do not tell anyone whom you do not trust your combo. This also goes for protecting valuables, as the lockers specifically safeguard your personal belongings. Some people share lockers with a friend, so remind your friend to lock it after they use it. If your friend does not do so, then use your locker or kick them out of yours. Either way, your clothes will be safe.
While the locker room is a safe place, perhaps there are some ways it can be improved. Additional cameras could be installed outside of locker rooms to catch the person who stole your clothes or other items, and you will be able to get them back. Mason Zamboldi, a sophomore at Ridgewood High School, said the following: “People rarely get items stolen in the locker room, I don’t think any improvements could be made safety wise.” Although the camera idea could work, I agree with Mason, because not everyone would like to have the school record them at all times.
Overall, the locker room is a safe place. Parents and incoming students should know this so that they will use it to their advantage. It is essential to use it for both gym and sports, so you do not have to walk around with an extra bag every day.
Graphic: Maraea Garcia