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Dori Hartley Headshot

Hollywood School Inherits Early Morning Trash

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I'm not writing as a privileged blogger right now. I'm writing as a mother. I do not know about the "Who's responsible" or the "What agency" needs to step in. All I know is that, as a mother -- as a human being -- I am heart broken over what I witnessed just this morning as I left my daughter off at school.

Yesterday, at McArthur High School in Hollywood, there was a campaign event for President Obama. Very exciting. It was an incredible point of pride for the students as well as the teachers and administrators. A United States president visiting their school! What a thing to remember, what a historic moment to be etched in each student's mind for the rest of their lives. The announcement happened at a McArthur Mustangs football game last Friday, and as soon as the buzz went out, everybody in the area got ready to take their place in the stadium. Barack was going to talk on Sunday, and the community got on line, and that line grew to quite a distance. The heat was on and the Floridians stood in solidarity. No one got rowdy, nor did they complain. In fact, no one did anything but exude pride and support.

I was on that line, though after several hours of waiting, I had to leave.

When I dropped my child off at the school this morning, I was horrified to see the enormous amounts of loose trash littered about the premises. I pulled to the curb and watched as my daughter had to leap over the piles of soda bottles and plastic bags. All the students were doing this. On the way to each of their classrooms, at 7:30 in the morning, they had to skirt around the mounds of filth left for them.

The message was clear: "We don't care about you kids."

The disrespect shown to these children and their school was not only heartbreaking, it was unforgivable. Where was the so-called "clean-up crew?" How is it possible that something like this would be left unattended to? I am outraged that so many young people -- people who are not even able to vote -- were left to wade through the trash left behind by those who are in one moment a supportive community, and in the next an irresponsible group of pigs.

Are we so unconscionable now that even during our finest moments we have to leave a residue of our apathy? Is it really too much to ask now, to clean up after ourselves? We made the mess, can we not at least take it with us after we've gathered en masse?

These kids do not deserve this message. And this does not make the campaign look good.

Personal responsibility: is it truly a thing of the past?