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CC Haddad: Working to supply period products at WHS
April 5, 2023
For years, many students and teachers at Wayland High School have noticed that the sanitary product dispensers in the bathrooms are empty. This has caused some students to be put in uncomfortable situations as they have to ask a friend or the nurse for period products, instead of being able to directly access products in the bathroom.
Junior CC Haddad decided to tackle this issue head-on with her National Honor Society leadership project this school year.
“I have always wondered about the absence of period products in the restrooms,” Haddad said. “I have certainly been in situations in which having period products in the bathrooms would have been helpful, so I was curious if there was something that could be done to change this issue.”
Haddad was inspired by both her own experiences as well as her classmates’. She believes that not having period products supplied in the bathrooms can cause a number of problems for students.
“There really isn’t a good solution for students who are caught off guard by their period,” Haddad said. “Also, students who menstruate but do not identify as female may feel a lot of dysphoria having to ask for a tampon or a pad. Providing easy access to period products in bathrooms would address these challenges.”
Haddad began this project by reaching out to WHS Principal Allyson Mizoguchi to discuss whether the project was achievable. Mizoguchi agreed to become Haddad’s project adviser, and together they began the planning process.
“Haddad reached out to me with the astute observation that period products are not available, even though we have dispensers in the bathrooms,” Mizoguchi said. “I thought it was a great idea to have the restrooms stocked with period products.”
Mizoguchi connected Haddad with Wayland Director of Finance & Operations Thomas Lafleur to discuss further financial logistics of the project. Haddad also worked closely with WHS custodians to determine distribution plans.
Since the project requires a lot of research and work, Haddad is looking to create a committee of dedicated people to assist her and Lafleur.
“In this group, we would be collaborating with Lafleur to discuss budget and do research into the best products to purchase,” Haddad said. “If people are interested in joining, they should fill out the google form.”
WHS nurse Tim Bryant has also been helping Haddad, as he believes that Haddad’s project addresses a crucial problem at WHS.
“Sanitary products should not be an inconvenience for people who get periods,” Bryant said. “Dr. Mizoguchi, Haddad and I are working together on resolving the issue, with more to come shortly.”
According to Mizoguchi, all of the sanitary product dispensers were filled until a few years ago. Getting rid of period products in the bathrooms was due to a widespread vandalism issue, in which students would flush the products down toilets in order to clog them.
“The initial concern was that students may not use the sanitary products appropriately,” Mizoguchi said. “We’re looking into launching a public relations campaign to ensure that students will use them appropriately. I don’t believe students will use the products inappropriately if they understand the effort it took to get them back.”
Haddad acknowledges that her project is not an easy one. She estimates that she will finish her project by either the end of this school year or the beginning of next school year.
“If my project is successful, I believe that it will have a tremendous positive impact for all menstruators at WHS,” Haddad said. “People will not have to stress about bringing period products to school, and sanitary products will be easily and comfortably accessible to all students.”