Sanitary Products Misused in Boys’ Bathrooms

The sanitary products thrown out or torn apart

A+picture+of+the+Boys+Bathroom+in+Lower+A.

A picture of the Boys’ Bathroom in Lower A.

Lenny Ali Ihsan, Staff Reporter

BANGOR—Sanitary products that Q+ Club has provided in all bathrooms have been misused in the boys’ bathrooms.  

Q+ Group worked with the administration to provide and place menstrual products in baskets in every bathroom throughout the school; but some boys don’t know why they are there and instead have used them for the wrong purpose. The group was recently formed by merging the LGBTQ+ Straight Alliance and the Students For Gender Equality and advocates for social justice regardless of either gender or sexuality. 

Co-President Annalena Wittmann has a plan to avoid further misuse of the products. 

“What we’re planning on doing is to remove the sanitary products from the regular bathrooms and placing them in the gender-neutral one, and in the nurse’s office,” said Wittmann last week. Since that time, menstrual products have been removed and will be replaced with signs in the coming days on where to retrieve products until they are eventually returned to all bathrooms in the building.

Principal Mr. Butler said he is just as disappointed as Q+ members are.  

“After consulting with Q+, we made the decision to pull the products temporarily, with the intention of creating some ‘direct appeal signage’ with language that reminds students of the supportive purpose of the items and requests that they be respectful of that purpose,” the principal said. “Any student who is found to have damaged those items in bathrooms is disciplined,” he added. 

Tobias Smith is a transgender sophomore who uses the boys’ bathrooms and a member of the Q+ Club. He participated in providing the menstrual products to all bathrooms, but had to deal with this situation. 

“It really makes me angry, I had to restock the sanitary products every single day, and they disappear. I have never witnessed an incident like this, but I have once seen a cross on a stall made out of pads, Smith said. He added, “It was really weird. I had to go around the entire school once to find a bathroom that has the products, but couldn’t find any and I didn’t have anything on me either.”

People need to know that the menstrual products are there to provide for people who are in need of them, and not something that is played around with. For the time being, menstrual products are found in the nurse’s office, Ms. Throckmorton’s classroom in A-8, and the gender-neutral bathrooms.

“I think that it is very sad that the sanitary products are getting vandalized. It is only limiting others from using it. I don’t know if it may be related to ‘Devious Licks,’” Wittmann said. Devious Licks is a trend emerging from the social media site, TikTok, where students throughout the country have filmed themselves destroying property at their schools and uploaded to the site.

If you ever happen to face through discrimination or transphobia, report it to Mrs. Carver-Bialer. Email her or stop by her office, which recently moved to the guidance wing (across from Mr. DeRespino’s office).