All things EHS all the time

EHS-hub

All things EHS all the time

EHS-hub

All things EHS all the time

EHS-hub

Does It Taste Bitter?

Are shortages justification for not finding solutions?
Trash+is+left+on+a+table+in+Eurekas+cafeteria+after+lunch.+Photo+by+Claire+Rickles.
Trash is left on a table in Eureka’s cafeteria after lunch. Photo by Claire Rickles.

Within the past two years, The Bugle has published five shortage stories, highlighting issues stemming from post COVID-19 shortages of business employees, bus drivers, COVID-19 tests, custodians and substitute teachers. Many of these shortages are still prevalent and the root of complaints in Eureka and the Rockwood School District.

A fantastic example of the growing frustrations due to shortages is school lunch. As many Eureka students remember, the high school offered a wider variety of lunch options pre-pandemic. Unlike today, lunch lines were divided by type of cuisine with the opportunity to purchase Italian, Chinese or American food for lunch. When grab-and-go lunches became the standard during the pandemic, fewer options were available in an effort to make packaging lunch for over 2,000 students simpler. Eureka lunches have yet to return to what they were pre-pandemic.

Mrs. Carmen Fischer, the Rockwood School District Director of Child Nutrition, explained that this is because of staffing shortages.

“If we could get more staffing, we would certainly be offering more entrees and different entrees,” Mrs. Fischer said. “As soon as we get more staff, we

Offered school lunch items. Photo by Claire Rickles.

can look at doing that again.”

But when are we going to stop using shortages as justification for not finding solutions?

Staffing has been rocky across the district for years and lack of sufficient employees has often been used as a reason for Rockwood’s shortfalls. 

Rockwood has struggled to properly staff schools since the pandemic; students and staff have experienced the effects. If it is not certain that more employees will be hired, then different solutions for these shortfalls should be determined. 

Lincoln Rausch, 9, believes that returning to previous lunch processes, such as a salad bar, could help make school lunches better.

“I think maybe we could do something where each [student] makes their own meal instead of set meals,” Rausch said. “That way, it’s easier to make lunch for hundreds of kids at a time.”

However, Rausch sympathizes with Eureka’s cafeteria staff.

“I feel bad for our staff because there’s never enough and I understand that they can’t get enough,” Rausch said. “But I appreciate how much they do for us.”

Still, there is greater benefit in utilizing our resources to maximize the quality of school lunch than in waiting for more staff. I believe that, even with a staffing shortage, improvement is possible. 

Students are also not in the clear. Custodial shortages are a known problem, especially at Eureka. Ziy’onni Weaver, 9, is aware of the shortage.

“We were told in history class that we only have around two custodians to clean our school this year,” Weaver said. 

Ironically, after each lunch shift, tables in the cafeteria are left trashed with wrappers and food. Students walk back to class and then blame our messy school on a lack of custodians. There’s no denying that there’s a custodian shortage, but there’s also no denying that many Eureka students make matters worse by not cleaning up their own messes. 

“The cafeteria right after lunch is messy because people don’t pick up their trash,” Weaver said. “If you don’t pick up after yourself and you just expect everyone else to pick it up, the school is not going to be clean.”

Walking out of lunch and leaving a disaster left for our staff to clean up is not the example we need to set. We need to stop using the custodian shortage as an excuse to not keep our school clean, and we need to start taking accountability.

Ultimately, no one is to blame for any of the shortages within the district, but everyone is responsible for filling in the gaps. It’s time to start acting like it.

Leave a Comment
Donate to EHS-hub
$0
$1000
Contributed
Our Goal

Your donation will support the student journalists of Eureka High School - MO. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
About the Contributor
Claire Rickles, News Editor

Claire Rickles, News Production

Grade: 12th Years on Staff: 3 years Hobbies: Playing guitar, baritone, and ukulele, learning new instruments, baking, and writing What was your favorite childhood TV show? Winx Club What is your favorite book? The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab Favorite Quote: "I would rather die of passion than of boredom." -Vincent van Gogh Favorite Hot Take: Eating shellfish by itself is nasty (it's tolerable in sushi though) Fun Fact: I was in orchestra in middle school, but I taught myself how to play baritone during the pandemic and am now in Eureka's band!  
Donate to EHS-hub
$0
$1000
Contributed
Our Goal

Comments (0)

All EHS-hub Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *