Rise in theft highlights failure of students to use gym lockers

The first thing that I learned about Staples, even before I started my freshman year, was that—for whatever reason—Staples kids don’t use their lockers. Ever. Now that I am a junior, I no longer feel bewildered by the fact that our lockers are pure decorations. I myself can’t even remember the last time that I ever actually used one. 

But although it is Staples’ culture to turn a blind eye to the possibility of theft, in light of the recent rise of burglaries in Westport and Staples, we need to change our no-locker culture to take proactive measures to protect our valuables.

Earlier this month, Ansonia resident Artay Drinks was arrested by Westport police for stealing from the Staples boys’ locker room, according to Westport News. However shocking this may be, it highlights the fact that Staples students need to start using our gym lockers. 

Last spring, I overheard a conversation in which a girl complained to her friends that someone had stolen her airpods from the locker room. This year, one girl in my gym class once brought her backpack to class because she refused to leave it unattended in the locker room.

While this is concerning, we aren’t doing our part to protect our possessions if we don’t use our lockers. We leave our backpacks with cash and credit cards in them out on the benches and blithely leave our sports bags in the cafeteria without a second thought. I understand that hall lockers can be impractical because they are far away from our classes, but there is no excuse not to at least use the gym lockers.

I will admit that I am guilty of not using a gym locker. The last time I used one was on the first day of school, when each student had to make sure that their combination still worked. I even have an instrument locker in the orchestra room for my viola that I don’t use because I can’t be bothered to battle with the finikey lock. 

And, more candidly, I don’t think that I will start using my orchestra locker any time soon. 

But I make these choices knowing that I will accept the consequences if I happen to be the victim of a theft.  I will not complain, because I know it is my responsibility to protect my own belongings. 

Yes, theft is happening and we as a school need to address this. But if you lock up your possessions, it won’t happen to you. This will not only keep our airpods or spare cash from being stolen, but it will prepare us for the real world. Outside of school, theft happens, as was demonstrated in Westport this summer. If we learn to adopt prevention habits now, by using our gym lockers, we will be better equipped to prevent theft as adults.