Glenn’s Grime

Lunch Time Trash Has Gotten Out of Hand

– art by Karina Gerardo.

Karina Regino-Gerardo, Reporter

Chip bags blow in the breeze through the courtyard, catching on the side gates. Ketchup and crumbs litter the tables. Cartons of chocolate milk and plastic lunch trays lay abandoned nearly everywhere you look. Glenn has a littering problem, and it’s past time we fix it. 

The trash left over every lunch period has gotten out of hand. It’s disrespectful not only to the school’s custodians, but the learning environment as a whole. Administration must take immediate action to contain the littering going on in the school, and reclaim Glenn’s pride. 

The students at Glenn have shown no respect toward the custodians and staff that clean up after them. A significant amount of students deliberately leave their trash and trays on the tables after lunch, while certain immature individuals purposely fling their food because they find it to be humorous, yet they do not realize the severity of their actions. They fail to rec

Trash left behind by a group of students during C lunch.

ognize the hard work the janitorial staff puts in to keeping our school clean. Just because it’s their job shouldn’t mean custodians should have to do it alone.

These conditions are what make “being present at school” so unbearable. The habits we retain here are the habits we take into the real-world. The lack of respect for our custodians and school is shameful, and poor habits could also potentially develop into a premature littering problem in Leander.                        

Some lunches are packed on certain days, so students have to find somewhere to eat within the campus. They might want to go out into the courtyard if the weather is nice, but are then dismayed by these insufferable conditions and have to go elsewhere. It’s hard trying to find a decent table where there isn’t ketchup or chocolate milk smeared over surfaces, and trays left behind on tables from the previous lunch group.

Unkempt tables in the courtyard.

But Glenn’s grime isn’t contained to just the courtyard or the union. Restrooms in several different wings have also been completely trashed and vandalized.

The thick atmosphere of filth that progressively layers itself throughout the day is disruptive towards our willingness to learn. A dirty environment makes it hard to have pride in our school, can reduce morale, and eventually affect our overall performance and culture as a school.

A soda cup is spilled over the bathroom floor.

If visitors from different campuses or the school board were to come to Glenn, it would leave a bad impression and affect the image of our school, due to all the student-led filth. The hygiene of this facility could worsen over time if we don’t take action. 

In the two years I spent at Leander Middle School, the kids in ISS and detention would help the lunch ladies clean the tables while an AP was present to ensure that they were doing their job. If middle schoolers have to commit to this punishment, then so should high schoolers. 

The APs should monitor lunches more carefully and enforce a fair punishment to students who refuse to clean up their tables. Students who are in detention should wipe down tables in place of the lunch workers. Another solution would be to include a daily reminder in the announcements for students to pick up after themselves. They should also place two APs on the opposite ends of the courtyard. They can monitor the students more effectively and ensure that everyone cleans over and under their tables. 

It should never be seen as embarrassing to clean up after yourself. It should remain as an unspoken rule and something that everyone does without the need of a reminder. The students and staff at Glenn need to start taking accountability over their actions now, in order to maintain a cleanly learning environment and restore school pride.