Lack of Custodians Leads to Dirty Rooms

Ryan Newby, Reporter

This year, some teachers have noticed that their classrooms have been a little dirtier than usual.

“The carpets didn’t get done, the trash didn’t go out, the hallways weren’t always picked up, the bathrooms got to be really a mess,” English teacher John Sobonya said. “I don’t want to say anything bad about our custodian team because we have some really great custodians and they work very hard. And you can’t put it on them that there’s not enough people in the building to do their job correctly.”

According to head custodian Ira Allen, the root of this problem comes from overpopulation and a custodian shortage. 

“Ever since the pandemic started, we’ve been short two, mainly three custodians every day for like the last two years. And the increase of students makes it much harder to keep the classrooms clean,” Allen said.

Unfortunately, efforts to regain custodians to alleviate the workload have been unsuccessful.

“Nobody is applying for the job. It’s not like we’re not trying to hire anybody, there’s just nobody applying for the positions we have open,” Allen said. “Some of my guys had to do overtime and we have also tried to inquire outside companies to come in help as well.”

In response to this problem, teachers have had to adapt in several ways to keep their rooms clean.

“Well, I mean there’s really two ways of doing this: First, you could just complain about it and sit around and hope it fixes itself, or I went out, bought a vacuum cleaner and came a little earlier, and kind of cleaned my classroom; I mean if I don’t do it nobody will. And it had to be clean, so I just took the time and did it myself. Most of the teachers here do. If you come to the English hallway, after 4 o’clock, you’ll hear vacuum cleaners in 2 or 3 classes,” Sobonya said. 

Due to the struggles the custodians have been facing, it’s important that we – students, staff, and teachers – do our best to help them.

“Yea in the classrooms, if they have the trash cans closer to the doors, try to put the chairs up on the tables toward the end of the day and that’s about it,” Allen said.