The worst part about P.E.? The locker rooms


Arisa Thomas

Signs posted in the girls’ P.E. locker room warn students not to leave out valuables.

The girls’ locker room is home to thieves, trash, and tardy-bound students, many students say.

Every day, girls dressed in green and grey line up outside the locker room in hopes the doors will finally open on time. For P.E. classes, the time of dismissal from class is usually ten minutes before the bell rings to ensure there is enough time to change. However, that time is often reduced. Whether it’s a drastic reduction to only two minutes or a more forgivable decrease to only five minutes: Students say that it is inconvenient and results in tardies. 

This applies to the multiple P.E. periods ranging from 1st to 6th. “In first period, they take like five minutes to open the door. We need to change and they’re over there chilling at the bleachers and stuff,” complains sophomore Nuria Phillips. “I had that last year too for 5th period.” 

Anaiah Pearce, a junior, reflects on her 2nd period P.E. experience last year, claiming it impacted her overall school experience. “They would open it so late, I’d always be almost late to class and the dancers would get in the locker room before us so we would clash,” said Anaiah. “It’s also a big problem because sometimes after P.E., I would need my inhaler and would have to wait. It’s the same for other people too.”

Once the doors are open, students are greeted with a new worry: theft. 

“I left my backpack in the P.E. room and when I came back, my bottom backpack pocket was open,” said sophomore Ysabella Hernandez. “There was about $90 missing.” 

Unfortunately, Ysabella is not the only victim. This has happened to many others over the years. Other students report losing as much as $40. 

Signs warning students to secure their valuables in their lockers to avoid this situation are posted throughout the locker room. The problem is, most students can’t fit their whole backpack in their locker in addition to their P.E. clothes and shoes.

Fortunately, the P.E. teachers are implementing more supervision over the locker room, and since beginning this, they’ve yet to receive any new complaints. “We – Me, Ms. Douglas, and Ms. Jackson-  have a schedule of supervision where we check the locker room,” says Ms. Navarro. The teachers recently discovered the locker room backdoor had been propped open and now make sure to go as far as quadruple-checking it to make sure it’s closed. They even hired someone new for supervision. 

As for the doors, the teachers said the situation is a difficult one. “We’re both teachers and we’re both out in our classrooms,” Ms. Navarro said, referring to her and Ms. Jackson, another PE teacher. “When we dismiss our students, we have to make sure the gym and fields are cleared out, pick up our equipment, and make sure all our students are where they need to be before we can come open the door.“

Ms. Jackson chimed in with a complaint of her own, claiming students are actually given too much time. “They change and then they leave the PE area early.” This contributes to the amount of ditching students.

The teachers said they will be considering the amount of time students have to change at the end of P.E. “There’s just that discussion to be had about how much time we should allow the students to be in there,” said Ms. Navarro. “If they have too much time, they’re able to leave and ditch or leave early and now we have students roaming around.”