It’s time to end the disrespect

For 141 years this building has represented the traditions of Highlands. From the thousands of students who have walked across the stage to receive their diplomas, to the multitude of games won out on the football field, this building has stood the test of time. After undergoing extensive renovations in recent years, the building is more sophisticated and upscale than ever before, truly representing the Highlands students that occupy it. So surely it deserves some respect, right?


This sounds obvious, and you may ask why any student would actually feel the need to disrespect this school or this building. Unfortunately, I don’t have an answer for that.


But I do know what disrespect looks like. It looks like ketchup splattered on the windows, lunch trays hidden in the hallways, and worst of all, obscene images and words carved into the bathroom stalls. All of these things have become a problem at Highlands, and are misrepresenting everything that the school stands for.  


Assistant principal Jeff Schneider said, “All of you guys are entitled to have a safe and clean place to learn, but the custodians’ job is not to be your mom. It’s not their job to clean up messes that are intentionally made by kids.”


Most of the recent vandalism has been concentrated in the boy’s bathroom. However, large amounts of students are guilty of leaving food, trash, and even lunch trays around the school and the community. Although this has been happening all throughout the school year, it has really escalated in the fourth quarter.


Sophomore Riley Dungan said, “It’s ridiculous. I can’t believe that some people would be so disrespectful to the janitors and the building itself.”


The administration is working on implementing solutions to this problem, such as more teachers being present in the hallways at lunchtime and a serious discussion about the future of open campus lunch.


“There could be drastic measures, but we don’t want to penalize students that aren’t doing anything wrong,” stated Schneider.


If you ever see anything suspicious, don’t be afraid to report it to any teacher or administrator. It’s important for everyone to respect this building that is such a pillar of the community. Our kids and grandkids should be able to learn in the same beautiful and pristine school that all of us have come to know and love, but they’ll only be able to if everyone gives the respect to our school that it truly deserves.