The County Chronicle

The online newspaper for Loudoun County High School

The County Chronicle

The County Chronicle

Our school community looking down on custodians must be addressed

Our janitorial staff this year and on average in years prior consists of about 13 employees working some of the most tedious jobs in the school such as cleaning between classes, cleaning up various messes left behind in lunch shifts, and even gardening outside when asked to. At first glance, these seem like some of our school community’s most respectable people, right? Doing the hard and messy jobs that none of us would voluntarily do, but somehow, it is becoming so unbelievably apparent that they are undervalued in this school. We can see it every day when only a handful of people, students and staff included, say just a blanket thank you to them when they are cleaning up these people’s messes. People perfectly capable of taking responsibility for the things they leave behind seem to have no understanding of why they should be responsible for themselves and not treat custodians like their personal servants during school hours. 

These employees deserve more than just being thought of as the people who clean and a second thought throughout the day, they are people. Human beings who have lives and families are equal to teachers, administrators, and students. There is no hierarchy in our school. It is not a question of the value of their job: custodians are vital parts of keeping our school community up and running. There is no reason that they are being treated and have been treated as second-class citizens. 

The main issue recently that is making this so clear in our school is the way our students are treating custodians. We can see at lunch shifts the unacceptable messes that these kids leave behind and they just expect it to vanish into thin air. They stand up from their tables, leave what is there, and walk away to go about their day. What they never do is just turn around. They don’t look behind them to see who is going to clean that mess up and they don’t look behind themselves ever. In the eyes of some of the students who do this, custodians aren’t even worth a second glance. They clean up messes and that’s it. Is this the school community we are so proud of? Yes, we have amazing athletes and academically advanced students, but what does it matter if they are not grateful people? 

However, we cannot solely blame the students. As we know, young people learn from what they are shown. So, we can piece it back to the way custodians have always been treated and how younger students are being shown to treat these staff. I know that I am not the first one to bring up this issue and want to see a change in the school community, so how long has this really been happening?

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The main solution I can think of is to spend real time informing students of the need to respect custodians and be more aware of how much we truly need to treat them fairly. Parents, administrators, and teachers can help this education spread as well as those students such as myself who are aware of this issue and want to see change for the better in our school. Seeing these hardworking employees treated with such high and widespread disrespect is truly disturbing and disheartening. It makes me wary to leave this school being in my senior year and still have only a handful of students simply just saying thank you to them daily. I wish that this issue could have been addressed long ago so that I could be a bit more proud of our school, but the inequality and disrespect I see every day makes me wish we could have done better. Current students, current staff, and future generations, please do better.

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About the Contributor
Brianna Martinez
Brianna Martinez, staff writer
Brianna Martinez is in her senior year at County. This is her second year on the newspaper staff and she plans to major in Journalism in college.

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