LT Custodians – We Must Respect Them

Anna Tabet, Reporter

Students see them everywhere. Rarely acknowledged, yet without their work the school would implode. The custodians: always respectful and hard working yet quite often met with teenage angst and snide comments. Due to the nature of their work, it may be easy to simply write off someone’s disrespect as merely allowing them to do the job they were hired to do. However, if someone were to ask Mr. Butler why the custodians were hired, he would not say it was for them to get sneered at while simultaneously picking up the trash from the floor that countless students were too bothered to put in the trash can, conveniently placed four feet away.

Unfortunately, this is not an issue solely for the Lake Travis Campus. The slander of custodians is a national issue, even involving high status individuals, such as Trump’s senior advisor for policy, Stephen Miller. Recently a video of Miller has surfaced, depicting a speech of himself running for student government at his high school in Santa Monica. During the speech, Miller is filmed questioning if he is the “only one sick and tired of being told to pick up my [his] trash when we [the school] has plenty of janitors who are paid to do it for us [them]”. High school students are caught constantly regretting claims they make or their perceptions towards certain situation, regret is one of our specialties. In addition, this comment could easily be a joke to gain the attention of and rile up the crowd. However, the mindset that such a phrase is justified, regardless of its intent, leads to cruel and often close minded society.

Surprisingly, custodians are indeed human beings with thoughts and feelings. Their calm demeanor and requirement to throw away our dirty lunch trays should not create some falsified barrier, impairing us as a student body from showing our gratitude and even take part in making their jobs less challenging. It is understood that students are frequently balls of pent up anxiety and confusion. In certain circumstance, someone’s angry or stress induced outburst is a byproduct of misplaced aggression for a variety of personal reasons. However, the minimal pay for the excessive work and long hours they endure on a daily basis should be reason enough for nothing but the utmost respect and kindness.

The unwarranted contempt is easily combated. If a student is in the bathroom, a simple flush followed by disposal of a used paper towel within the trash can is an abundantly helpful start. In addition, the lunchroom is not a basketball gym. If someone does feel so inclined as to attempt to imitate the unquestionably skilled Steph Curry and throw their chips bag into the trash can, most likely missing, picking up the missed three pointer and disposing of it would significantly decrease their already ironically overflowing workload. So the next time a custodian comes over to your lunch table, a sincerely smile accompanied by a “thank you” would definitely not crumble the delicate balance of power within the boundaries of Lake Travis High School.