WHS administration restricts bags in Commons


Credit: Abby Stoller

Pictured above is the foyer in the commons. There are no bags placed on the windowsills or on the floor. “The beginning of the year is the best time to start enforcing new rules, so that’s why we did it this way,” Principal Allyson Mizoguchi said.

Abby Stoller and Joyce Wu

WHS principal Allyson Mizoguchi has announced that bags are no longer allowed in the school’s front foyer or along the walls and tables of the Commons.

The newly implemented rule is trying to clear the foyer and the commons of the commons of academic bags, backpacks, athletic bags, and any other stuff that students bring to school. It is trying to get the students to use their lockers instead of throwing them in the foyer and crowding the area.

According to Mizoguchi, this rule needed to be enforced because there are safety concerns about having bags lying around. It is important to keep the exit and entrance of the building cleared. Otherwise, when evacuating, it would be harder for people to exit the building safely and calmly which would be a safety hazard.

“I feel good about enforcing it, although I do know that it forces students to start using their lockers, which I know for most students is not part of their regular routine,” Mizoguchi said.

Every student is issued a locker in the South building. In addition, students are given a locker in the locker room for Wellness class. The extra athletic bags and things could be placed there if needed.

“If there are things that students bring to school that can’t possibly fit in a locker, for example golf clubs and lacrosse sticks, we are happy to talk to students about a safe alternative for those items,” Mizoguchi said.

According to Mizoguchi, bags in the foyer has been a problem for a long time. The pile of bags grew bigger and bigger over time. It grew halfway into the middle of the foyer, and students had to walk all the way around it. If there were an emergency, and students and staff members needed to evacuate the building quickly, it would have been a major problem.

“The beginning of the year is the best time to start enforcing new rules, so that’s why we did it this way,” Mizoguchi said.

A change like this causes students to need to make changes to their daily schedule. Most students will have to visit their lockers more often or carry their extra things around with them.

“I don’t like [the rule],” freshman Mia Minasidis said. “It makes me walk further when I don’t have time because before I used to just walk through the doors and throw my bag down. Now, I have to walk [to my locker].”

Although many students do not support this change, some students recognize the positives to the situation.

“It’s easier,” junior Isabel Steneri said. “It makes it so [that] people don’t trip when they walk in the entrance of the school.”

“I just want to thank everybody for their cooperation,” Mizoguchi said. “It did involve a shift in routine for many students, and we are grateful that many students were flexible and willing to make this shift.”