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The tradition of decorating lockers has passed for many Hall County high school students
0825life
North Hall High School students walk by lockers as they make their way to class Friday morning. Many students opt not to use lockers, choosing to carry all their books and binders in their book bag instead. - photo by SARA GUEVARA

0825LifeAUD

Ashley Boutwell, a freshman at North Hall High School, gives the lowdown on lockers.

If you're old enough to legally drink alcohol, you might remember watching a despondent Claire Danes play the role of Angela on the ABC teen drama "My So-Called Life" - or, more recently, in reruns on MTV. In every episode, Angela and her friends gathered at her locker to watch the dreamy, blue-eyed Jordan Catalano stroll down the hallway.

But times have changed. Lockers aren't the high school staple they used to be, with magazine cut-outs and music album covers decorating their interiors.

Joe Gheesling, principal of North Hall High School, said he's seen fewer and fewer kids using lockers. He said to get a locker in Hall County schools, it costs $5, but students can determine which locker is theirs.

"A lot of kids don't even bother to get lockers, and I don't think $5 has anything to do with it," Gheesling said.

When asked if it's just not cool to have a locker anymore, he responded, "Probably not."

While Gheesling said there's still a good portion of North Hall High's more than 1,100 students using lockers, with the sound of doors slamming shut filling halls between classes, many students choose to carry their textbooks around campus.

Ashley Boutwell, a freshman at North Hall, said she doesn't have a locker because she doesn't have time for one.

"All my classes are all over the school, so it's kind of useless because you only have five minutes to go from class to class," she said. And besides, "When you have a locker, you accidentally lose stuff in there," she said.

She said most locker-less students lug a full backpack around school with them. Boutwell said she carries two books and three binders during the school day, and they're not that heavy.

"It's not like they're in the Army," Gheesling said. "They only have four classes."

And as for teenagers decorating their lockers, Boutwell said it's only for birthdays and jocks.

"When it's your birthday, people will decorate it, or if it's a football game cheerleaders will decorate lockers, but that's the only time we really do it," she said. "People don't really do that anymore."

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