By Will Amari
Picture this: empty milk cartons abandoned on the ballroom tables, gum wrappers on the Cafe floors, and ketchup smeared on the walls. To some people this might sound like a bad day at preschool, but according to Physical Education Teacher, Pia Martin, this is just an average day at SLA. Students at SLA seem to have fallen into some nasty habits.
Everyone is familiar with Principle Lehmann’s famous announcements about litter, but some students have noticed that these trash updates have become less frequent.
Is SLA becoming cleaner? Junior Michael Nicolella doesn’t think so. “I think it (the trash) is staying the same. Look at the Cafe and the walls; there’s dried up milk and stuff.”
Michael has been attending SLA for three years and feels that the trash problem is not everyones fault. “I wouldn’t really blame it on a grade.” Nicolella says. “I know most people would, but I think it’s just people who are ignorant.”
Nicolella says that he himself tries to keep SLA clean by throwing away the garbage left by his peers and reminding his friends to keep SLA litter-free. However, he would agree that just one person trying to keep SLA clean cannot make much of a difference.
In fact, most people who tend to spend a lot of time in the Cafe are consistently inconvenienced by the litter. Physical Education Teacher, Pia Martin remarked, “It inconveniences me all the time because I cannot teach in the cafe after lunch because I don’t want (students) to have to put their hands on the floor or their hands on the table.”
Mrs. Martin explains that she doesn’t have the time or the desire to clean up after people. She believes that everyone is responsible and that they should be punished for their disrespect. “I think that there are some people who forget the rules at home. I think people are taking advantage of the maintenance staff and Officer Berg.”
Currently SLA has hired staff to clean up after the students, but most teachers and classmates have come to the consensus that everyone should take ownership of the litter problem and clean SLA.
Teachers are worried that the litter in SLA might create a bad first impression among visitors who might want to ether attend SLA or do something that would benefit the school. Most SLA teachers including Mrs. Martin were able to recall times where visitors left SLA, complaining about how dirty the building was.
This upsets them and they believe that something should be done about it. “I have this fantasy.” Says Mrs. Martin. “That we just don’t clean up and see how long it takes for people to get the hint.”
The SLA community hasn’t determined a way to solve the litter problem yet, however it is clear to see that students and teachers feel passionate about the school’s lack of cleanliness. There are “No litter” signs in the hallway walls and students are constantly reminded to clean up their trash. Little by little the school is improving in an attempt to become a better-looking and more inviting school. It’s important to keep SLA tidy and clean. As Nicolella says, “I don’t want to look like a bunch dirt bags!”