Media, freshmen ‘locked out’

Shantel Berry left two binders and a pair of $60 softball shoes in her Media Academy locker at the end of her junior year.

But when she returned in August as a senior, her belongings and locker were gone.

Berry said she was under the impression that she would return to the same locker, as she had done her previous three years at Fremont.

”It makes me mad because now I have to buy new softball shoes, and they were very expensive,” said Berry.

Berry is among many Media Academy students who are upset about having their lockers taken away from them and their belongings thrown out.

In fact, six weeks into school and neither the 177 freshmen nor the 148 Media Academy students have lockers.

That’s because the Media Academy students had to give up their lockers to the incoming freshmen, who now use the former Media Academy hallway, and because the leaders of the Freshman House have not changed the combinations so they can issue the old lockers to the 9th graders.

“We just forgot to take care of the lockers,” said freshman case manager Eric DuBois.

DuBois said that freshmen will probably get their lockers sometime in the second marking period. He did not know the plan for the Media Academy students, but said there should be plenty of lockers for them downstairs.

Some students who are new to Fremont are also upset.

”It is frustrating that I have to carry everything without being able to have somewhere to put it,” said junior Michael Simpkins, who transferred from Hayward High.

Simpkins’ classmate Vanessa Rivas is also displeased that she does not have a locker this year.

”Not having a locker makes it harder to carry our binders and books around,” she said.

Principal Daniel Hurst said that students who are upset about having their personal belongings thrown away were told that they needed to clean their lockers out back in June.

“The students will have to replace their belongings themselves,” he said, when asked if the school would pay for the thrown out items.

Students are not the only ones upset about all that was thrown out.

Some teachers watched with despair in late August when they saw a lot of waste of quality school supplies, such as binders and notebook paper, being thrown away.

“It was frustrating because of the huge lack of supplies, especially the binders that could have been reused were being thrown out,” said Sonja Totten-Harris, a former Media Academy teacher who now teaches 9th graders.