A Vandalization Conflict: Ways To Help HHS Custodians by simply doing your part


Recently cleaned restrooms thanks to the custodians of HHS.

Recently, Highlands High School has been experiencing sudden disrespect in the bathrooms. This means a multitude of different scrapes and bruises, including graffiti, unsanitary products lying about, and litter. 

It is important to remember that it is the job of someone to clean up after students and the responsibility of us all to clean up after ourselves. 

Between the job and the low pay, janitors have a rougher time. It is time to show them the gratitude that is deserved. 

Principal John Darnell said, “The job of a custodian is to ‘clean’ our building, to make it amazing for all of you, it is not to ‘clean up after students.’” 

He later said that there’s a concept in economics called the “tragedy of the commons,” the gist is that people don’t take responsibility or ownership of public places because they don’t own them.  

“I seriously doubt students vandalize and disrespect the restrooms in their homes, so why would they think it’s acceptable here?  The best way for students to help custodians is to respect the place and treat it as if you own it,” said Darnell.

With an already overtly disgusting job, the disrespect shown creates an even harsher environment for these workers. 

Darnell said, “Making better decisions and reporting issues directly to an adult when they appear can help this cause.”  

Darnell says, “We often find out about these things because students post them on Snapchat, TikTok, etc. By the end of the day, it’s circulated.”

 He said that the other thing is to be an upstander.  When you see something wrong, say something immediately. 

This is a skill many need help to achieve, it can be hard to stray away from what your peers do and think but the beliefs and values held within speak louder. 

Head custodian, Guy Ponzer, has been working at HHS for over 10 years. Before being a football coach, coaching our now, Superintendent Robinson. 

Though he did not allude to this whatsoever, it was evident that the amount of work and hard labor done within the walls of HHS comes with not enough recognition. 

But when students disrespect the restrooms they are also disrespecting the many that dedicate their humble lives to making sure we have a clean environment. 

“The lack of maturity in students is the worst part,” said Ponzer. 

“If we can all do our part, and show the respect that is simply a normal response, that would make everything a lot more manageable,” said Ponzer.