Don’t Mess with Texas: Littering piles up & poisons parking

December 9, 2022


Photo illustration by Nick Wood & Dylan Zellner

Littering on campus can easily be seen as disrespecting Bowie and AISD, but the administration isn’t affected by this. Texas is.

Chris Doe* slowly watched the construction of Bowie’s new parking since his freshman year. He stands in the monument after 30 minutes off campus for lunch, trash in hand. Rushing to class he leaves his garbage parked on the second floor. Doe makes a daily routine of this, consistently littering Bowie parking with garbage.

Doe isn’t alone in this, as he and many other students litter their spots with trash and ugliness, leaving the community to pick up after them. This sickness is everywhere.

Students leave trash behind constantly, littering Bowie’s parking with the remnants of their food and drinks. There isn’t a day when the lots don’t have someone’s trash left behind, and with the reality that there isn’t even enough custodial staff to clean the inside of the buildings, the parking lots tend to be neglected. Which means trashy and ugly.

The school isn’t responsible for a mess made by students, and students should take responsibility for their litter with the simple act of throwing it away. Holding onto trash until you are able to throw it away isn’t a difficult task. Students need to respect our community and themselves as little enough to throw away their trash.

While trash cans may be sparse and aren’t around every corner, it takes minimal effort and time to hold onto trash until it can be discarded. It is utterly disrespectful for students to leave litter lying beneath their cars in Bowie’s parking.

Students should take pride in having these facilities and respect them and this school for having these parking facilities. 

Since students pay for parking, does this mean Bowie should clean up after students? Not at all. Regardless the rising costs to park on campus, which range from $50 to 200$, students should remain respectful and clean up after themselves, and the act of paying should further push students to want to keep their parking in good condition.

Littering on campus can easily be seen as disrespecting Bowie and AISD, but the administration isn’t affected by this. Texas is.

Don’t Mess with Texas is an organization formed to inform Texans and stop Texas littering.

According to, 362 million pieces of litter accumulate on Texas roads yearly, half of which comes from vehicles. Bowie students are contributing to that number and polluting our city. 

A simple solution for students is to hold onto their trash until a trash can is available. This can be done by keeping trash in their cars until they get home or another site for disposal or just holding onto trash in hand until they are on campus where there are more trash cans and disposal sites. This action takes minimal effort and keeps our parking, environment, and home safe and clean.

Students should be mature and respectful enough to clean up after themselves and not leave their landfill scattered across Bowie’s parking. 

Littering here, at Bowie, is harmful to the entirety of the school as well as the land we live on. Have some pride in that land, and Don’t Mess with Texas.  

*Chris Doe is a made-up name for creative purposes

Students shouldn’t complain about poor facilities

Students shouldn’t complain about poor facilities when students immediately trash new facilities


Colin Barnes

We students should have a commitment to keeping school facilities nice for the next people to use it.

Going to the bathroom during the passing period has never been worse, trash, food, and graffiti plague the restrooms in the new facility. This is a regular occurrence now, oftentimes even affecting the smell of the entire building.

Since the first day I came to this school, I have heard people complaining about the quality of the facilities. Whether it was about the lack of air conditioning or the stalls that don’t lock, we had a reason to complain.

 Although for many many years nothing was done about this, the state has begun to hear our objections. Finally, the money was released through a bond designated to fix the existing problems and build a new fine arts center. Now, this is no easy task given that Bowie is built on 60 acres and is home to over 2800 students. For that reason, we were allocated $85,368,925. Just this November another bond was passed, this one a grand total of $2.4 billion designated towards campus improvements for Austin ISD, breaking records.

We got a whole new facility with great air conditioning as well as good bathrooms. One would think this would mean a decrease in trash and the destruction of the bathrooms. Despite this, every day the janitors have to go in and pick up the trash and scrub off the graffiti.

This is a massive problem for not only the staff but also the other students. Oftentimes you cannot even use the restroom because of the state that it is in. It’s hypocritical for students to complain about the old facilities and then trash the new ones as soon as they are made available. We cannot have it both ways. The utter disregard for the cleaning staff’s time is out of control. It not only wastes time but also money. The supplies for cleaning as well as labor time is a huge cost.

There must be a solution to these issues. Oftentimes students don’t take well to administrators telling them not to do things, just seeing it as another adult creating more rules. For that reason, I believe we should have someone from our student leadership talk to the students through the announcements. Our president or other council members could be a good choice, after all it was the student body who elected them. 

Another solution could be to get more trash cans and station them in more accessible places. A large part of the waste issue is people being too lazy to walk somewhere and throw their trash away. As ridiculous as it may seem, an increase in trash cans may help minimize the amount of food and other objects being left on the ground. It’s that it is not everyone who is doing this. 

The shame is that a select few are making the area not enjoyable for the rest of the school. Now that we are no longer allowed to eat in the academic halls that are the main lunch area aside from the cafeteria. 

We students should have a commitment to keeping it nice for the next people to use it. That being said, if nothing changes then we have no right to protest when we are the party causing it.

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