Bottles and Highchairs


Our school offers both indoor and outdoor trash cans as well as an assortment of dumpsters in multiple places surrounding the school. They all hold our trash, but most of it was not placed in there with our hands, although it should be. There is no excuse for high schoolers to neglect cleaning up after ourselves.

Perri Rabbitt, Staff Writer

I guess it is a little aggravating, or, if I am excreting honesty, a lot aggravating. As the student body resumes the daily class schedule after lunch, the room we presided in has trash left over, spills protruding on the seats and floor, and crumbs dripping on top of the spills on top of the chairs on top of table on top of the floor. The chairs are pushed out, crooked, missing, or islands in the middle of the floor, but, worst of all, we have the unspoken permission to get up and leave it all behind us as if we were never a part of the storming madness, as if it never happened at all. We desert the room with our own dessert trails behind us, all with the trigger of a bell. There is no time during the school day for much else but school, they say. Perfectly understandable, I say, but aren’t we here to prepare ourselves to be better equipped for our future? Life lessons demand time, and this is no exception. Pick up your own garbage. Not having time to teach a useful lesson is one thing, but neglecting to address that an awful lesson and bad habit is being taught and approved has little excuse. It is, “Hey student body, someone else will always be there to clean up our disgusting messes for us.” Good luck to our future husbands or wives, because when we come in the next day to feast on our packed lunch prey, the cafeteria is squeaky clean without a trace of our personal and unnecessary destruction from the previous day.

The enforcement of consequences for actions is vital in learning experiences. At a point in our teenage lives when we should be learning to take care of ourselves, clean up after ourselves, take ownership of ourselves and our responsibilities, we are still having our messes wiped up for us. I am surprised we aren’t still sitting in high chairs with little colorful bibs snapped around our necks, too. What would happen if the custodial staff stopped cleaning for just a week? Would we pay a little more attention and give a lot more appreciation and beg for help as we swim in our own garbage afraid of drowning? Isn’t it scary to think that in less than nine months some of us, including me, will be living completely on our own? Ouch. What a rude awakening.

Do not worry, I am not ready to move out either. I have plenty of messes I do not notice, make time to clean up, or take responsibility for. I am asking that we make a difference together, that we make a choice together, that we become accountability partners for our own literal garbage. We are blessed to attend what I would say is one of the greatest schools ever built. Our custodial staff is excellent. They work extremely hard, remain kind and professional, and do what they do for the better of the school and the people in it. Why do we not take the pride in our school, the pride in ourselves, to clean up? The custodial staff has their own job of maintaining a clean and safe environment. Our job is to clean up after ourselves, yet we have relayed that duty onto them with justifications, excuses, and nonsense. Dead weight makes the doable more difficult, and there is a consequence when you are a part of something bigger than yourself and you don’t pull your own weight. Usually, on my soccer team, we would all have to run laps, suicides, down and backs, you name it. I am not saying our consequence should be a mile run, but then again maybe it should. If given a consequence for such inconsiderate actions, we would be comparing and contrasting what is harder: running or slightly bending over to pick up trash and walking to the trash can, which is, by the way, delightfully supplied for our use without charge.

Thank you, custodial staff, for being so patient and faithful in your duties. I hope you will forgive us for our sloppy unawareness of our own.