Messy School Bathroom Photo Shared By Custodian Sparks Rage

A viral Reddit post shows a deplorable school bathroom after the first day of school. and has users outraged.

By Erika Hanson | Published

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school bathroom

Public schools operate as well-oiled machines. Teachers are said to be the heart of a school, but without supporting staff, like custodians, operations wouldn’t run. The work of school janitors is known by many to be significantly underpaid and unrecognized. Now, a viral Reddit photo of a school bathroom is reminding people on the internet once again just of that.

A Reddit user took to the popular social community site to share a photo of a messy public school bathroom. Letting others know that he is a night-time custodian at the school, the picture displays what a bathroom floor looked like after the first day of school. To say the “crime scene” was littered with school papers would only downplay the view, as it is better represented as being a sea of papers. 

The photo was well received on the subreddit community it was posted on, garnering nearly 53,000 votes since first being shared earlier this week. The photo of the deplorable school bathroom even caught the eye of Newsweek, who spoke to the apparent janitor who shared the image. According to them, the mayhem was the culprit of freshmen students at orientation.

The user also said that the school bathroom picture didn’t even depict the worst part of the scene. They said that every toilet was stuffed with paper. Altogether, the user noted that it took about 40 minutes to clean. While school custodians are used to having to pick up after negligent youth, this janitor feels that the return to school after pandemic closures has made the situation worse.

Reddit users commented in support of the custodian and offered them support and understanding for the arduous duties janitors face. Likewise, the school bathroom photo sparked some debate over whether it is an age or social issue. “The disrespect and entitlement is just out of this world,” said one Reddit user. “Custodians deserve way more recognition,” said another. 

Advocates have been fighting for higher wages for support staff in schools for quite some time. States have passed sweeping legislation making headway on teacher pay, but oftentimes, the supporting staff like custodians get left out of the conversation. According to Indeed, the average starting pay for a janitor in the U.S. is $13.52. Given evidence as seen in this school bathroom viral photo, it is clear to many that higher salaries are a needed talking point.

Other commenters argued over the notion that this was the act of “kids being kids.” One user noted that it’s not an age issue, pointing to college dormitories and how deplorable their school bathrooms often are from the older students who trash them. “It is the manifestation of individualism, a total lack of collective, communal consciousness,” they said.

school bathroom

The custodian who captured the messy school bathroom via photo insinuated that this is now a normal occurrence inside schools. In their five years at the high school, they have found broken mirrors, feminine hygiene products thrown on ceilings, and fecal matter smeared on windows and walls. 

It appears that in a growing matter, janitors are given pay that can not keep up with inflation and the cost of living. What’s more, they are expected to do more as school children display a lack of respect for school property and bathrooms. Whether the problem is truly getting worse, or just being documented more often, is uncertain.