If you had asked the students at Mount Vernon High School a year ago what the worst thing they have ever smelled was, they may have answered with garbage, rotten eggs, or vomit. Unfortunately, this year everyone at MVHS has been forced to breathe in the sickening fumes of something much, much worse every time they walk the halls.
“This hand sanitizer is quite possibly the worst thing I’ve ever smelled,” Rafe Pisarik, a junior from MVHS, said referring to the gallon sized bottles of hand sanitizer positioned throughout the halls. The potent odor causes anyone walking by to wrinkle up their nose and hold back a gag.
“I had to go wash my hands after using the hand sanitizer, because the smell was so bad,” Ashlyn Steen, another junior said. Most students who have used the sanitizer in the halls, haven’t used it again after getting a single whiff. This is a huge problem, because people are not using the sanitizer that has been put there to keep them safe. If students and staff are avoiding using this kind of sanitizer, we need to find an alternative kind they will use.
At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the school district purchased dozens of gallons of hand sanitizer in order to supply the students and staff for the upcoming school year. Their purchase ended up being a sanitizer from an off-brand company that contains very high levels of ethyl alcohol, an extremely smelly substance if not filtered properly. The school district can easily fix this whole problem by simply buying a higher quality sanitizer and ditching the cheap off-brand one.
Even staff members at MVHS dislike the odor. One staff member from Mount Vernon High School was heard saying that the sanitizer makes you smell like an alcoholic who likes to eat peanut butter. Other staff members have said that the sanitizer is one of the worst things they have smelled and that it needs to go. There is clearly a need for change if both students and staff are wanting the sanitizer gone. With the nasty sanitizer removed, the halls will finally smell normal again, people won’t gag when their hands get close to their faces, and students will not be forced to take extra trips to the restroom to clean off the stink.
If the school district’s goal when purchasing this awful hand sanitizer was to make students wash their hands more, they certainly are succeeding.