in 2023, the state of Connecticut pased a law that “each local and regional board of education shall provide free menstrual products,” available in “women’s restrooms, all-gender restrooms and at least one men’s restroom, which restrooms are accessible to students in grades three to twelve.”
To comply with the law, Brookfield High School installed menstrual products in the boy’s restroom at 09:30 am on January 24, 2024. By 9:52 am, the dispenser was ripped off the wall in the boy’s bathroom.
In an email to the school, principal Marc Balanda wrote that he was “disgusted” and “dismayed” by the act. “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,” he said.
Alex Harris, who sits on the Ridgefield CT Pride advisory board, reportedly argues the destruction reflects “socialized misogyny” and “anti-trans hostility.”
“Just as racism is socialized and not innate, so too for misogyny and anti-LGBTQIAA+ bigotry,” Harris told the New Haven Register. “All such feelings arise from socialized fear of ‘otherness.’ There is no reason for teen boys to fear period products, the people who require them or the use of such products anywhere.”
However, the school is not involving law enforcement but is “seeking restitution.”
“This is an issue of vandalism/destruction of property,” Brookfield Schools Superintendent John Barile. “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.”
Barile continued, “Brookfield High School is approaching this matter from a restorative perspective in that they are providing both education on the issue and work to remediate this issue with students.”