Amid complaints about the cleanliness of its schools, Lyons-Brookfield School District 103 Board of Education voted on Aug. 24 to recall two of the six custodians who were laid off in the spring of 2020.

Superintendent Kristopher Rivera said the district plans to restore all six custodial positions that were eliminated when school went remote in the spring of 2020 after the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Rivera said that four of the laid-off custodians did not want to return to work for District 103, so the district is looking to hire four new custodians.

“We do have the vacancies and the other individuals did not show interest,” Rivera said. “So, the two that showed interest were recalled and now we’re going to go outside to hire the others.”

A George Washington Middle School teacher told the Landmark that one day this week the garbage was not picked up in her classroom. 

“Yesterday was the first day my garbage was not picked up,” said the teacher, who asked not to be identified because for fear of retaliation.

The teacher also complained that there was no social distancing in the hallways and that not all staff always wore masks inside the school.

A custodian in the district who asked not to be identified for fear of retribution, said that the 2020 layoff of custodians has left the district without the staff to properly clean the school buildings throughout the district.

He said that only one custodian is now on the night shift at GWMS compared to the three custodians who were assigned to the school during the evening before the layoffs.

“It’s impossible for one guy to clean that building at night, it’s impossible,” the custodian said.

The custodian said that other schools are also short-staffed.

The custodian and teacher said that with the delta variant of the coronavirus raging, they are worried about the health and safety of students and staff.

“It’s a dereliction of duty on their part to be doing this,” the custodian said.