The Mess You’ve Made: Why We Need to Focus on Cleanliness


Elise Brooks

A mess is left on the table during lunch.

Let’s talk about cleaning. Who really wants to do it?

Though cleaning is a task that can seem menial and tedious, it is a highly necessary job that we all have to go through at one point. Keeping tidy is a professional way to show that you care. The important job of cleaning and showing care for property here at our high school is in the hands of the hard-working custodians.  

Many students do not take the time to acknowledge the important work custodians do, which includes keeping the school clean and safe for everyone. From the bathrooms to the fields athletes perform on, the school is kept in check at all times. Most people recognize cleanliness is the foundation for any secure environment. Without the help of the custodial team, trash would pile up and maintenance issues would not be resolved. Whether a sink is leaking, or somebody made an unpleasant mess in the bathroom, the custodians are there to help fix the situation.

Tim Clark, the head of custodians, makes sure their duties are done efficiently. Clark explained that all of the maintenance staff must go through a district training prior to starting their work. The training teaches how to take care of messy or harmful situations, like cleaning up blood, vomit or urine. Those kinds of situations happen more than students may think.

”I went into the bathrooms and there were puddles of urine on the floor,” said sophomore Julian Contreras.

Each year, the custodians will be split up to take care of different parts of the school, and most of their work is during the night time. From monthly maintenance check-ups, to keeping everything intact, the custodial team brings their forces together to ensure building professionalism.

So how do the custodians feel about the importance of their job?

“Our role is to make the school a sanitary learning environment, and that is very important to students and teachers here,” said Clark.

However, students are encouraged to clean up after a mess, even if it is not theirs.  Both students and teachers should tell someone if they see vandalism or damage to an area of the school. As a community who is concerned about safety, everybody should be cautious and aware of hazards or things that make the school unpleasant. 

“Kids here should do a better job at cleaning up, especially in the lunchroom,” said sophomore Julie Romela.

Cleaning up after yourself is one less job for the custodians to do in their busy workday. Cleaning can prevent the spread of sickness and makes Air Academy High School a spotless and professional environment. A clean school is a healthy school!