Immorality of Disrespect

Lately students are forgetting how they should be acting at school


Kylie Brennan

Students threw an egg at the bathroom stall door, leaving custodians to clean up the mess.

Meghan Lynch and Kylie Brennan

When the bell rings at 2:15 p.m., most kids go home or participate in afterschool activities. The unfortunate truth is that not everyone in our building gets the luxury of going home once school is over. The people we rely on to keep our schools clean have to stay in the building until 11 p.m., working tirelessly to try and clean up the absurd messes that students make throughout the day, messes that custodians shouldn’t have to be responsible for. 

There’s always been an issue with our school’s restrooms, but as of late it appears that things have gotten out of hand. 

“There’s pee on the floor, people leave their gum on top of the toilet paper holders. It’s pretty gross,” commented sophomore Makinzie Copeland.

When you walk into the bathrooms, it’s almost guaranteed there will be trash on the floor, water flung onto the counter and mirrors, graffiti on the walls, etc. After speaking with a former student, now custodian, they said that the bathrooms have been this way since they’ve been in school.

“It’s your house, why mess it up?”

— Jeff Risch, custodian

Even though this is an issue about the restrooms being clean and sanitary, the custodians are not to blame. The job they do is hard enough without taking into consideration that they are severely understaffed. Dr. Danielle Tormala, the superintendent of the Wentzville School District, had commented on the shortage back in January, saying the district was short 30 custodians. Since then, nine of those positions have been filled leaving us with 21 positions left open.

An educator, who would like to remain anonymous, said that after spring break, they’re going to start getting paid to help clean their hallway. Administration had sent out an email on March 10 requesting the teachers help, offering to pay $19.88 per hour.

Chemicals and brushes used in attempts to remove graffiti also takes paint off our bathroom walls. (Kylie Brennan)

Another teacher, Mr. Burthardt said, “It’s not a custodial issue, it’s a respect issue.” And it’s true. Respect is a huge part of this problem, whether it be students not throwing away food during lunch, spreading dirt around the bathroom, or writing inappropriate drawings and words all over the walls, it is very clear that they don’t think about who they’re affecting and how their actions could affect other people. Both teachers and custodians think students need to learn to respect the things in our school instead of trashing them. 

“It’s your house, why mess it up?” said custodian Jeff Risch. “I don’t get it.”

Even the students themselves have recognized that there’s a problem.

“It’s really disgusting,” freshman Sophia Spakowski said. She continued to describe the situation in the locker rooms, which are just as bad. The toilets are allegedly leaking, causing water to pool in sunken areas. As these issues persist, many students have made the decision to just stop using the bathrooms altogether. It really goes to show how disgusting our bathrooms are and how much students take custodians for granted. 

The solution to this issue really does lie in the students. It’s the students making the mess, and it needs to be the students who clean it up. They need to make sure they’re respecting both the school and the people who work here by being mindful of how they treat the restrooms. Not only are students being disrespectful to the school and its workers, they are being disrespectful to themselves and their peers. It’s time for students to own up to their actions and show respect to those around them.