Locker? What locker?

That’s the sentiment of many HHS students who say they never use a locker and carry everything they need in a backpack.

“I don’t have time to stop in between classes,” said freshman Aislyn Zasada. “I use it maybe once a month.”

“I haven’t used it once,” freshman Hannah Adamson added, while classmate Zoe Murphey remarked, “I don’t even know where mine is if I’m being honest.”

But teachers, parents and health experts warn that students are literally breaking their backs to save a few minutes.

“Kids come in here complaining about back pain, shoulder pain, and headache all the time. I’ll go lift of their backpack, and it feels like it’s 60 pounds. They’re stuffed full,” HHS nurse Sue Buckberry said.

It isn’t only anecdotal evidence, either; studies show that most students carry backpacks that are between 10 and 20 percent of their body weight, a load that can cause serious back pain and other disorders down the road.

In theory, students should have enough time to stop by their lockers and still get to their classes on time. HHS recently extended the period between classes from 5 minutes to 7 minutes – same as Gallatin and Beech but not as generous as Station Camp’s 12 minutes.

Still, HHS students say 7 minutes isn’t enough time, especially if they’re going from one end of the building to the other and need to drop by the bathroom.

In the end, it seems they would rather risk a back ache from a heavy backpack than a detention from a touchy teacher.

Story by Olivia Nutting and Emma Miller


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