In the majority of Japanese schools, janitors or custodians are not hired for cleaning tasks. The Japanese education system upholds the belief that students should be responsible for maintaining their schools’ cleanliness. This practice instills values of respect, responsibility, and equality among students. By participating in communal cleaning activities called “osoji,” students learn to take care of their shared environment, develop teamwork skills, and appreciate the efforts of those who maintain cleanliness in other contexts.
Once, a school principal disciplined a mischievous student by making them sit in the basement and read the U.S. Constitution. That student, Thurgood Marshall, memorized the entire document in the process. Later in life, Marshall achieved the historic milestone of becoming the first African American Supreme Court Justice. As a civil rights advocate, he played an instrumental role in dismantling racial segregation and transforming the American legal landscape. Notably, Marshall argued and won the landmark case Brown v. Board of Education, which declared segregated public schools unconstitutional.