A tampon dispenser was destroyed roughly 20 minutes after it was installed inside a boys’ bathroom at Brookfield High School in Connecticut.
Brookfield High School Principal Marc Balanda sent an email to the school’s students and families on January 24, explaining that the tampon dispenser had been destroyed just 22 minutes after the school installed it in the boys’ bathroom. Balanda described the incident as an “egregious instance of vandalism and destruction of property.”
“A dispenser with menstrual products was installed in the boys’ bathroom near the (main office),” Balanda wrote in the email. “The installation was completed at 9:30 (a.m.). By 9:52 (a.m.), tampons were on the floor, the newly installed distribution box was ripped off the wall along with the masonry anchors, and the distribution box itself was destroyed.”
According to CT Insider, the school’s tampon dispenser was installed in compliance with a new law that was passed in 2022 and will go into effect in September, requiring all schools from grades three to 12 to “provide free menstrual products” in female restrooms, all-gender restrooms, and at least one male restroom. According to the CT Mirror, supporters of the new law have claimed that “menstruating individuals” should not be forced to make a choice between having their period and attending school.
In his email, Balanda criticized the students responsible for the destruction of the tampon dispenser in the boys’ bathroom, saying, “I am aware that the law says ‘men’s bathroom’ but the actions today that led to vandalism and destruction of property were the work of immature boys, not men.”
Balanda explained that the school would reinstall the tampon dispenser in the boys’ bathroom in compliance with the state’s new law.
According to CT Insider, Brookfield Schools Superintendent John Barile said the incident had been handled by the school. While the superintendent did not disclose the number of students involved or the form of discipline the school would be using to punish those responsible for the destruction of the tampon dispenser, he noted that the police were not involved in the situation.
“This is an issue of vandalism/destruction of property,” Barile said. “Law enforcement is typically not involved in situations of vandalism/destruction of property unless the act rises to a much higher level of property destruction. The school is seeking restitution.”