Katy school bans use of lockers

August 16, 2010 7:18:57 PM PDT
In order to keep students focused and on schedule, a Katy school is trying something different next year: no lockers. But banning students from using lockers has some parents upset. The policy is going into effect at West Memorial Junior High, and we spoke to two mothers of children there. They told us they want to know why the school came up with the new policy they also worry how it will affect their children's health and safety.

Cindi Wright and Jonna Soots will have children attending West Memorial in the Katy ISD school this fall. They are upset over the letter sent by the principal, saying school has a new locker ban policy.

That means kids will have to lug around all their supplies, which consist of several pounds of binders, pens, pencils, papers, notebooks and other stuff.

"It says it's to increase instructional time and assist students," Wright said. "It doesn't really go any further than that."

The letter from West Memorial Principal Marcus Forney says the no-locker policy will maximize instructional time, but Forney did not say how not having a locker would do that.

"I don't understand what they plan to gain if they have nine classes, and they're gonna drop a couple of minutes in between the classes," Soots said. "They're gonna gain what maybe 10 or 12 minutes a day for academic."

Forney's letter states each child will get two copies of each textbook, with the exception of math, so they can keep one at a school and another at home. That means the kids won't have to carry books, but they will have to deal with other bulky items like purses and athletic gear.

A study on backpacks showed 60 percent of children will have back pain by the time they turn 18. Soots also worries that the bulky backpacks will pose a fire hazard.

"Where they gonna put the backpacks?" What happens if they have a fire?" she said. "I can't imagine 800 kids trampling over 800 backpacks trying to get out of the school."

We called Katy ISD to ask them about West Memorial's new no locker policy. Spokesman Steve Stanford told us, "The campus will address the parents' concerns in the near future."

We will keep you updated on this story.


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