Tampons in the boys bathroom

Provided+by+D.+Palzynski

Provided by D. Palczynski

Tampon dispensers displayed in the boys bathrooms.

Dylan Palczynski

Since Jan. 1 2021, a state mandate was released leaving schools waiting for a shipment of supplies and dispensers that would work with just the wave of your hand. These dispensers would be placed in the boys bathrooms dispensing two things: Tampons and Maxi Pads. 

Schools across the state have recently been receiving all of these supplies, and they have just arrived here at HHS a week ago. Every one of the boys bathrooms from the east wing of the school to the west wing has one. They are also free like the tampons and Maxi Pads in the girls bathrooms. 

However, there have already been incidents of vandalism pertaining to the dispensers ranging from students damaging the machines to sticking the products to the ceiling. These incidents will most likely be on the rise with reports of them happening on the first day of their release.  

Nevertheless, this amount of disrespect was something that faculty had predicted. Assistant Principal Tom Kempf and the rest of the school faculty have been leading this change for the school, but have always kept in mind the possible outcomes of these products arriving here for free use.

“Operationally for our building, yes it is creating problems. But at the end of the day, if it makes one person’s life easier, that is struggling with gender identity or needs, I think it’s worth it. Yes, the custodian has to spend an extra hour fixing something, but [you could] take away a heightened level of anxiety from a single student. I would approve of it,” Kempf said.

At this point, change is unpredictable. There are possibilities of European-modeled bathrooms that create a more public structure for everyone to use or maybe even product changes. 

Huntley Huntley High School’s student body so far has put out a wide range of responses regarding the recent change. Many even align with all the possible changes Kempf presented. 

“It’s a precaution. If someone couldn’t go into the girls bathroom but needed one, it’s there for them now. I’m just worried that because of the environment, and what students might do, the faculty will see it as a bad idea.” junior Lucas Sciascia said.

Sciascia is a transgender student and he also expresses a sense of comfort here at the school. 

“Putting them in the boys bathrooms was a bad decision because no matter how much you might think [the boys] are going to respect it and leave it there. There are going to be people who are going to steal them as soon as they’re built. We should be keeping them in the nurse’s office for people who need them so that they could go there,” sophomores Logan Borzych and Tyler Hall said. 

Male students concerned with the care of these new machines and their purpose also offer the solution of adding a public restroom like the European model mentioned by Kempf. While they believe adding one public restroom could work, they also believe that making public restrooms the only option for students is a bad idea. The school could offer both the standard two gender bathrooms and the large public restrooms available to all. 

The majority of female students have proposed very similar options too. 

“As long as they’re not being used to throw them up on the ceiling and all. I don’t think it should matter because if a guy needs a tampon, it should be available to them,” senior Kaitlyn Ferguson said. 

This change is new to everyone, and the future is full of possibilities for comfort and care of transgender students.