This Needs to Stop


Photo Source: Riley Bucco

Riley Bucco, Writer

With the way that some students treat our school, they must think fairies come at night to magically clean up all of the messes that are made. Believe it or not, there are real-life humans who clean up after every single one of you. 


The custodians at our school are hard-working individuals who deserve more recognition. Our school would be dirty and unsafe without them. Along with it being disrespectful to the custodians by leaving trash, if you have A or B lunch, it is also disrespectful towards kids who have future lunches later in the day. Custodian Wayne Gelina states, “There is just not enough time to pick up trash between lunches.” 


I can feel the frustration that the custodians feel and something needs to be done. Although this is a problem that is being caused by students, the main people that could encourage a change are administrators. Custodians feel like they do not have the power to direct students on what to do. Administrators are present in the cafeteria and have the power to make a change. 


Vice Principal, Mr. Kowalski shared “I hope moving forward that school leaders could set an example and would help encourage others to throw away their trash.” Although student government and council members are in fact in the cafe during lunch, the problem persists.


When junior Courtney Lynch was asked about the cleanliness of the cafeteria, she stated, “It seems like this year, especially, students are careless about picking up their trash. There are boys who throw food around as a joke and I feel really bad for the custodians and people who have lunch after me. It is weird how this is being allowed to happen.” Lynch stated all of the problems that are relevant and a solution is greatly needed. 


“I believe in telling things once and then, if the problem continues, to meet with the students and call the parents,” Kowalski shared. 


Although many students and staff in the building have seen huge irresponsibility this year relating to students cleaning up after themselves, Kowalski, present in the cafe during lunch, stated, “I have not seen an uptick during the pandemic.”


Words such as “disgusting” and “disappointing” have been used by staff members when asked to describe the state of the cafeteria. 


Junior Katie Drislane shared that she “seemed to notice groups of people leaving their trash on tables and on the ground more often”. This makes her mad because “although it’s a janitor’s job to keep our school clean, it’s certainly not their job to clean up students’ trash”. The lack of empathy among students is in fact disappointing. 


As well as food and trash being left in the cafeteria, it is also being found around the school in hallways and stairwells. Does leaving your trash in the middle of the stairs for someone else to clean up leave you with a good feeling? I can not imagine that is the way, so finding the nearest trash can would benefit everyone. 


The problem is, what can we do that would make a difference in the long run? The head custodian fears that a solution would only be short term and motivation would fade away as time goes on. Going back to an elementary school system of needing to be dismissed once your table is clean, would be a little pathetic, but it may be necessary at this point. 


Mr. Kowalski shared his opinion on this idea and states, “I don’t think dismissing tables of teenagers that should know enough to throw away their trash is always the answer.”As this problem has had no improvement with the current system (or lack thereof) that we currently have, what is the answer then? 


All photos taken by Riley Bucco: