Editorial: Stop dispensing your hate


Students need to be more gender inclusive and put an end to gender discrimination and vandalism. Sharing pronouns and respecting name and gender changes brings awareness to gender inclusivity and challenges hate. Graphic by Alyssa Sanchez

At the start of the school year, students came back to many changes, one of which being the addition of menstrual product dispensers in the men’s bathrooms. It did not take long, however, for the dispensers and their products to be vandalized. Handfuls of tampons and pads tossed into the garbage by students. A dispenser found laying in a urinal. A Joe Biden “I DID THAT” sticker plastered on a dispenser.

Illinois law requires free menstrual hygiene products to be available in bathrooms of every school building that are open for student use in grades four through 12 during the regular school day. District policy states that students are permitted to use the bathroom that corresponds to their consistently expressed gender identity.

The inclusion of menstrual hygiene products allows students of any gender to use the bathroom they identify with, while still being able to access these products.

Some students might think the vandalism is funny. Some might be seeking attention from their peers. Others might be angry about the installation of these dispensers in the men’s bathrooms. All of these behaviors exemplify ignorance and transphobia. We unequivocally condemn these actions, the perpetrators and the bystanders.

Everyone deserves to be treated with respect and dignity, no matter how a student identifies. Vandalizing school property and wasting menstrual hygiene products creates an environment that does not foster gender inclusivity.

These actions cannot be left unchecked. Students should confront their peers if they witness vandalism and report any vandalism to the Deans’ Office. It is up to everyone to stand against this hate and bring awareness to these attacks on gender inclusivity.

If this hate is left unchallenged, it opens the door to all types of discrimination in the future. Any marginalized group of students has the potential to be targeted. Is race next? Sexual orientation? Religion?

Yes, it is vandalism today, but what could it lead to tomorrow? By not acting now, a culture of hate is deemed acceptable.