Time to show some kindness and respect

Fatuma Mire, Guest Writer

In order for our school to function, Ludlow High staff members work tirelessly every day to keep things running smoothly. Teachers, principals, and other administrators all seem to have authority over us, and with authority comes respect. But what about the staff that works behind the scenes? The janitors, repairmen, and most notably, the lunch staff. From spending long hours on their feet to cooking and serving students, the lunch staff is constantly making sure every student is given fair treatment and a fresh meal. 

And this effort didn’t end during the pandemic. In an effort to help make sure kids who rely on school lunch get what they need, 200 grab-andgo bags for pick up. And made sure to deliver lunch to classes to students who choose to attend school in person. Instead of falling short, they rose to the occasion. 

Their work days start at 6 every morning and don’t end till 1. And while that may not seem like a long work day they certainly do more than the rest of us. Ms. Tracy LaFever described her work day. Every morning she enters the school and starts opening up the kitchen. Then the registers are turned on and she helps check out students getting their breakfast. LaFever gets the sandwiches for the Deli and AlCarte lunches. And bags and sends lunches for the Collaborative Learning students. LaFever then helps serve and check out the next three lunches. 

This no matter what your view on what is and isn’t real work is a lot. And many lunch staff do enjoy their work. One said that their favorite part about working was seeing students starting off as freshmen and becoming young adults. The Lunch Staff truly cares. They always try to make sure there’s something for everyone and that everyone’s happy. But alas students often take this care for granted; from speaking inappropriately, making messes, and more. 

Yet students who do act inappropriately towards them don’t always receive the treatment they deserve. One lunch staff member says “ I would like to see the kids that do things wrong actually have consequences. They need rules and they need to be held accountable when they break them. Some of them are very disrespectful.” For a staff member to feel this way is completely inappropriate. All disrespect towards adults in the building, not just teachers, and administrators should be punished. Not to mention in a school full of soon-to-be adults actions like this are even more juvenile. 

Actions like this aren’t an anomaly. I personally have seen the messes my peers have made. From spill, splatters, scraps, and sometimes their entire tray. High school students acting like children. And the argument often made is that “It’s their job to clean up.” That does not give students the right to act like toddlers. Not to mention many of us are almost adults and starting college in a year or two. So the excuse of still being young isn’t very valid anymore. 

But not all students feel this way. In fact, a friend of mine went as far as to say “The Lunch Ladies are helpful, friendly, and understanding, No matter what they try to make everyones happy and fed”. And when asked about what she thinks about the way lunch ladies are treated she said “It sucks when people are being mean to the people that are feeding you and you’re being a brat” Teachers also seem to see the influence and Ms. NewLand raved about Lunch ladies “They have been so enthusiastic and kind to us. And given so much to us.” In other school environments Lunch Ladies are a big part of the school committee and I don’t think we have that  here yet at Ludlow.” 

So what’s the solution? It’s simple: remember no matter who you are interacting with, show them the kindness and respect you’d expect in return.