Editorial: Hey, Let’s Respect School Property


Photo Courtesy of Jorge Carrillo. An Emergency light from boys restroom left broken.

Imagine yourself in the school bathroom, pleased to be alone, unbothered, at peace. Suddenly, the lights go off due to a power outage. With no windows or natural light, the room is plunged into total darkness. You lose your sense of direction – your only guide is the subtle drip-drip-drip of one of the faucets.

You are a victim – of the latest version of the Devious Lick challenge.

About a year ago, the “Devious Lick,” a TikTok challenge, spread widely through schools, encouraging students to steal soap dispensers and other school property, especially from bathrooms. Now, our boys’ bathrooms are suffering just that kind of theft and vandalism.

Is this seriously happening? C’mon guys!

It started with ripping soap dispensers out of the bathroom walls. We all know that soap is needed for effective hand washing at all times, and is even more essential today, as COVID and flu infections continue to rise. Also, since soap dispensers are attached to the wall, they are difficult and costly to repair. A new soap dispenser can cost as much as $60, according to Facilities Manager Jorge Carrillo, let alone the cost of labor involved in the installation.

Beyond soap dispensers, emergency lights have been torn out of the bathrooms, leaving everyone less safe. The emergency bathroom lights turn on automatically during an emergency, including a power outage, so people don’t get stuck in a pitch-dark bathroom. When they are torn and damaged, Jorge has to order new LEDs and systems, which cost more than $66 each and take time to install.

OK, so you’ve read this far and maybe you’re feeling good about yourself because you don’t vandalize bathrooms.  Good job! You’ve managed to meet basic bathroom care expectations. But what about littering on campus?

The dorm quad usually gives a pristine and fresh feeling, but lately, students have left their food and trash there, attracting seagulls and crows who then scatter the food around. Imagine having to pick up scattered rice stuck between the individual blades of artificial grass. Talk about tedious and time-consuming! Our janitors work hard to keep our campus clean, especially the dorm quad, which sponsors love to see when they visit campus, according to Jorge.

As a school community, we simply have to do our part to help. How hard is it to put our own dishes away and throw away our trash into one of the many easily accessible dish buckets and trash cans around campus?

We, The Eastside Panther editors, second Jorge when he says, “Que tengan cuidado – si hay un problema, que simplemente me avisen, comuníquese.”  (I want them to be careful, and if they have any issue or problem, they can simply let me know. Communicate).

Indeed, communication is key. If you see a problem – a mess in the dorm quad, a problem in the bathrooms – speak up about it so it can be handled as quickly as possible. But equally important, make sure you are not part of the problem to begin with.