Updated: Jan 23
There is an issue that affects all of us but many overlook, often seen as not a big deal. The truth is that littering affects all of us. It has become an issue that students are leaving their trash behind. All types of waste can be found around campus, from food wrappers to pieces of gum students have spit onto the floor.
Students who litter around campus should be punished for doing so.
Rialto High School should do a better job at disciplining students who litter such as requiring them to clean up around campus. This will give them a little taste of what it’s like for the staff who help maintain the campus.
Some may say that it is the staff’s responsibility to clean up after students but the fact is that this is not true. Noon duty aide Patricia Rocio says, “Our job is to clean up what students leave behind like small spills, but it is not our responsibility to go and pick up all the food they leave behind because they should be in charge of throwing away their own trash.”
Fellow noon duty aide Maricela Guiterrez says that although it’s not their responsibility to pick up students' trash, they still try to get all the trash they can get because it makes the campus and our school look bad.
It is important for students to respect our campus and staff because we have people like Rocio and Guiterrez who work hard to keep our campus clean.
It can also be inferred that habits you create in school can translate to your life out of school. If students are littering at school, it is likely they will do it out of school. According to the organization, Keep America Beautiful, there are about 50 billion pieces of litter in our waterways and highways here in the United States. If we are able to discourage students from littering at school, it would be likely that they would reconsider littering outside of school considering the hefty fine you can receive for it. Here in California, the fine for first-time offenders is between $100 to $1,000 and they require you to do at least eight hours of litter cleanup. The fine and hours increase with every offense.
Some may argue that a bit of littering does not make a difference, but in fact it does. If every student at Rialto High School were to throw a piece of trash onto the ground, we’d end up with over 3,000 pieces of trash. So whether it may seem like nothing to you, over time it does take a toll on our community. '
An organization focused on creating sustainable solutions for a healthy environment, CENN, says that pollution can decrease air quality which can lead to the spread of more diseases. Not only that but thousands of sea mammals lose their lives due to confusing trash for food. We should all care about littering because it’s not just about one person, it's about the world as a whole.
Punishing students for littering can overall help us better the community, students learn not to litter and the school gets cleaner. All students of RHS should always throw their own trash away and leave the area as if they were never there. There are staff members who work hard every single day to make sure our campus is clean. So the next time you see a staff member cleaning our campus, thank them for their dedication to the community and think twice before leaving trash behind.