A Walk-Out on the Roaches | Teen Ink

A Walk-Out on the Roaches

December 16, 2010
By kmathew PLATINUM, New City, New York
kmathew PLATINUM, New City, New York
48 articles 0 photos 8 comments

It was my first Halloween in high school and I vividly recall that almost everyone was dressed up in wild and wacky costumes. However, amidst this hilarious scene lurked the shadows of a land-mark event in my school.

Considering that my school district is thought to be wealthy, my high school was maintained very poorly. We had a plethora of cockroaches, rats, mice, and maggots dominating the foundation of our building. Students have spotted bears on our property and dead animals in the halls; we even had leaky and stained roofs. In response to these unacceptable learning conditions, the majority of the student body decided to take part in a walk-out held on that morning.

I walked into my sixth period history class and recollect seeing an almost-empty class because most students had gone to the rally. Even though students were alerted that they would be punished for taking part in the walk-out, I was told that as soon as the bell that ended fifth period rang, students marched out of their classes into the parking lot holding posters and demanding their requests through a speaker. Police cars and media crew surrounded the school property to ensure that no one was hurt and all the important aspects of the walk-out were recorded to be reported in the next local newspaper or television news report. Since we had gotten the media’s attention, the superintendent called an emergency meeting that night to discuss what could be done to improve the condition of the school. The very next week, the district hired exterminators to clear the school of rodents. This calmed the basic requests of the students until May, 2010 when another incident let loose all buried demands.

It was on May 20th, when the ceiling the school auditorium fell down. The next afternoon, the auditorium was supposed to hold one of the largest events of the school year- International Night. This untimely event angered the entire student-body, especially the dedicated members of the Asian Club like myself, who were running the show. We tried our best to have the ceiling repaired by the next evening, but our requests were not met. Therefore, we had to move the location of our program and accept the short-comings of our school.

Having experienced both of these events, I felt compelled to respond somehow. Hence, I decided to examine the situation myself and noticed that the problem lay in the way students treat our school. Garbage was left on tables or thrown onto the floors, recyclable materials were thrown out in regular garbage cans, and messes made were left unattended. Then, how could the authorities be blamed for an untidy school? I do what I can to help by throwing out my garbage in the proper place, recycling and, and highly encouraging others to do the same. I do this because I believe the basic behaviors of people that need to be changed. Although my efforts will not produce results on a large scale, I know that at least my friends and I are doing what we can to preserve the only school we have. In a school as largely populated as ours, all I could ask for is this and hope that others recognize and follow the little things attempted by someone like me.

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