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Since Stay-At-Home Order, Many Students' Lockers Have Sat Idle...And Full

Brian Bull

The COVID-19 pandemic has shut down all Oregon public school buildings for the rest of the academic year.  As KLCC’s Brian Bull reports, this has prompted many a student to remember an unreturned library book…a favorite jacket…or an uneaten lunch that’s going on several weeks old.

Fortunately, some districts are already addressing the issue before someone's lunch completely transforms into a biology experiment.

Jenna McCulley is a spokesperson for Springfield Schools.  She says since Thursday -through Tuesday of next week- each of the district's schools has staff emptying lockers. Families can then pick up the bagged contents at a drive-through stile.

“Middle school lockers can always surprise you, and so I know that there were a few surprises, a sandwich or two here or there. And I heard tell of a milk carton," McCulley tells KLCC.

"But those were quickly pitched, and our staff is amazing. We did have lots of gloves and lots of disposal available if needed.”

Credit Brian Bull / KLCC

No need for biohazard suits, assures McCulley.  And if Springfield students don’t pick up their locker contents by Tuesday, she says they’ll be kept for when the stay-at-home directive is lifted, and schools reopen.

Meanwhile, Bethel Schools says they’re prioritizing distance learning, but custodians have checked for leftover food.  A spokesman adds there will be no penalty for overdue books.

Copyright 2020, KLCC.

Brian Bull is an assistant professor of journalism at the University of Oregon, and remains a contributor to the KLCC news department. He began working with KLCC in June 2016.   In his 27+ years as a public media journalist, he's worked at NPR, Twin Cities Public Television, South Dakota Public Broadcasting, Wisconsin Public Radio, and ideastream in Cleveland. His reporting has netted dozens of accolades, including four national Edward R. Murrow Awards (22 regional),  the Ohio Associated Press' Best Reporter Award, Best Radio Reporter from  the Native American Journalists Association, and the PRNDI/NEFE Award for Excellence in Consumer Finance Reporting.
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