The School Newspaper of Winston Churchill High School.

The Observer

The School Newspaper of Winston Churchill High School.

The Observer

The School Newspaper of Winston Churchill High School.

The Observer

Trash Talk: student responsibility at lunch

Photo courtesy of Maximus Wang
WCHS administration, security and students take in the aftermath of an incident in which one student jokingly slammed a cake into another student’s face.

The bulldog statue near the media center had to witness a terrible sight during lunch on Sept. 8, as a “fight” broke out right next to him, leaving icing on the floor and cake in a student’s face. Once administrators and security arrived, students dispersed with due expedience, yet the mess remained. Building staff were left to clean up a scene they had no part in long after those genuinely responsible for it had disappeared.

Recently, students have become increasingly bold with leaving their garbage and mess all over the building, knowing they need not take responsibility for their actions. From missed trash tosses to spilled drinks to the occasional cake residue, a lack of even attempts towards a solution has allowed students to fecklessly slather WCHS with all sorts of unwanted substances, then run away, cackling, only for staff to clean up after them. This is unacceptable, and actions must be taken bilaterally to combat it.

Building services are responsible for keeping the school a pleasant and safe environment, not cleaning up after irresponsible teenagers. Students should be well informed of their responsibilities concerning the well-being of the school, and if they fail to live up to those, they should be punished accordingly.

When this article was published, no hard policies had been put into place regarding the cleanliness of WCHS. Seemingly, the administration has recognized an issue, but the most done has been a daily reminder on the morning announcements to “help keep the school clean.” Expectedly, however, most students pay no heed to this reminder and will continue to trash the school as if nothing was ever said. 

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Creating a clean school environment through kind requests and reminders alone is impossible. Instead, what students will actually pay attention to, for the most part, is rules – specifically those that carry consequences. As has been done with other issues in the school, such as wandering in the halls or student cell phone use, WCHS needs specific boundaries that should clearly detail what is not allowed and the consequences for violating these terms. 

On the most basic level, students should be absolutely responsible for their actions concerning messes in the building. Students should throw all their aluminum foil out and wipe up their chocolate milk spills rather than leaving it for building services to find. If they do not, they should face a tiered level of consequences similar to WCHS’ Personal Media Device (PMD) policy. In fact, the PMD policy is an excellent template on which this initiative can be based; consequences can scale upwards depending on severity, frequency, or other factors. Admittedly, detecting and keeping track of incidents in the first place would be difficult, but not impossible.

Building staff present during lunch can be asked to stay even more vigilant concerning such incidents. On top of that, most areas of the school have security cameras that can be used to determine the origin of particularly chaotic litter, if necessary. If a school environment is to be where learning takes place for students and staff to flourish, the school needs to be clean and civilized. As such, the administration should aid in providing a base level of expectations, and students should abide by those strictly.

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About the Contributor
Maximus Wang, Promotions & Subscriptions Manager
Maximus Wang is a sophomore and one of the many Promotions and Subscription goons on the Observer staff this year. When he’s not slaving away for one cause or another, he’ll probably be contemplating his life decisions or having an identity crisis, and usually, both. 

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