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Editorial

Students must take responsibility in keeping school clean

Every day at school, we come across graffiti, shattered ceiling tiles, and soap and towel dispensers ripped off of the wall. These occurrences seem normal because they are so frequent, but we rarely stop to think about the consequences of our carelessness. Students may not recognize the repercussions that occur after they destroy school property, such as ripping a paper towel dispenser off of the bathroom wall. What may just seem like a good laugh between you and your friends actually costs $70 to replace if plastic and $300 if chrome. Custodians estimate that they replace 12 paper towel dispensers per week and go through $11,000 per year due to students stealing the paper towels themselves. Last June, custodians ordered 250 extra soap dispensers to last for the 2010-2011 school year, because they knew that students wouldn’t be responsible for or respectful of their school environment. This school year, not only

Support our freshmen athletes Dear Editor, Remember when Dr. Starr and the Board of Education attempted to cut freshman sports? I think back and remember how the student body banded together to fight the measure. Freshmen deserve the opportunity to play sports, we argued. After all our hard work to ensure the existence of our freshmen sports, why, then, are these teams so exclusive? Eager freshmen, excited and enthusiastic about the sport, are turned away. Not only that, second year freshman, who have to repeat their freshman year are trying out for freshmen teams. These “freshmores” are a year older than the freshmen, and are taking spots on freshmen teams that are being fought for by legitimate freshmen. Many of these freshmores are academically ineligible to begin with. They appeal their grades and use classes like gym and health, which don’t usually count towards a student’s GPA, to make them eligible.

paper towel dispensers but water fountains were torn from school walls. Although the fact that a student could actually pry a water fountain off of the wall seems like an amazing feat, it is diminished by the fact that it costs $500 to re-

disrespect in our hallways comes in the form of graffiti. This desecration must be repaired by a painter, who is paid $60 to $70 an hour to paint over one person’s so-called “artistic expression.” Last year, in response to the

place the next day. Similarly, a ceiling tile, depending on its location and material, costs $2 to $5 to replace in addition to the cost of labor needed to install it. This may seem like a small price. However, we see the shattered tiles in the hallways all the time, and their replacement adds up. Another common showing of

outbreak of Swine Flu, Purell dispensers were installed in every classroom. The supply of Purell in the dispensers was intended to last six months. Westhill students emptied them in two weeks. The dispensers cost $55 to refill— each. However, none have been refilled. Especially in light of the current financial climate in Stamford

There are many things wrong in this picture. First of all, why on earth are second-year students allowed to go out for freshman teams? They had their shot during their first year and blew it. They are older than most of the other students trying out for the team, giving them an unfair advantage. The fact that a student failed to move onto their sophomore year is absolutely no reason to reward them with an unfair advantage to play on a sports team. People all over the school talk about the Westhill student body’s inactivity. Many student groups are trying to create ways to get Westhill to exercise more. Well, these freshmen who are being turned away from freshmen teams want to be active. They want to take advantage of the opportunities the school offers. It is Westill that is turning them away. So, Westhill, you want more students to be active? Change your unfair freshmen sports policies. You want better sports teams? Stop turning away 14-

year-olds who could potentially turn out to be All-State players. Maybe they aren’t the best player right now. But, again, they’re only 14! They’re still growing. The kid you are turning away from freshmen sports could have the potential to be the next Michael Jordan. Instead of nurturing that athlete to bring him to his full potential, you are crushing his enthusiasm for the sport. And isn’t that the point of freshmen sports, to give the varsity and junior varsity sports teams the best possible chance for success? By turning away students who want to play before they have had a chance to develop their stills at a high school level, you are enabling our school to be bad at sports. Honestly, we have more then 2,300 students here, the majority of who are crazy about sports. There is absolutely no reason why we should not be a state contender in every single sport we play. We may not be the wealthiest school in the state, but we have the enthusiasm

The bottom line: Westhill students need to take more responsibility for their actions if they wish to improve the conditions of our school. The messes in the hallways are not the fault of the custodians; rather, they are the fault of the students who do not consider the consequences of their actions.

and the rest of the country, think of all the time and money that is wasted by carelessness. Next year, Stamford Public Schools will face significant cuts to its budget. Drastic changes will be made in order to save money. These changes include but are not limited to the loss of over 30 staff members. English teacher and senior class adviser Ms. O’Neill said, “It’s sad that there’s all this talk of teachers losing their jobs when money is being wasted on students’ carelessness. Kids have to decide: ‘would I rather have my hands wet or dirty, or be in a class with 33 kids?’” If refraining from performing a seemingly humorous prank can help save Stamford Public Schools’ money, then its worth it, because in deciding on next year’s budget, every little bit will help. If students acted more responsibly, the budget for maintenance could be reduced, and more money could be spent on retaining jobs for teachers and improving education for students.

You may not realize that our 15-person custodial team is here until 10 p.m. each night cleaning up our mess. The next time that you want to complain about the lack of soap in a soap dispenser or towels littering the floor of a bathroom, stop and think about all of the tasks custodians have to do because of our carelessness. The Westword urges Westhill students to take ownership of their actions. Even if you aren’t the one ripping water fountains out of the wall, you may still be the one to leave your lunch table a mess or show apathy towards your lessthan-respectful classmates. The Westword wishes to emphasize that the mess in our hallways is not the fault of the custodians; it is solely the responsibility of students. As Head Custodian Carlo Buccino said, “We are here to provide service, not to be servants.” For more information about the cleanliness of Westhill, turn to this issue’s Supplement on pages 21-28.

and manpower to take us very far. I am asking, editor, to look into this issue. We have too much potential to be throwing it away

over such miniscule issues. These problems need to be addressed. Sincerely, Maddie Elkins, ’11

Letter to the Editor

Please submit letters to Jackie Schechter’s mailbox in Room 224 or email them to westwordwhs@ gmail.com.


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