gritando (gritando) wrote in menstrual_lib,

"Do you have your period? "security guard asked high schooler


I found this story through women's health news
though it was great that boys acted in support ,too.

Grahamsville — Several television news crews from New York City are camped outside the Tri-Valley Central School following the story in today's Times Herald-Record about what question a school security guard asked a 14-year-old female student.

The girl was called out of class by a security guard during a school sweep last week to make sure no kids had backpacks or other banned bags.

Samantha Martin had a small purse with her that day.

That's why the security guard, ex-Monticello cop Mike Bunce, asked her The Question.

She says he told her she couldn't have a purse unless she had her period. Then he asked, "Do you have your period?"

Samantha was mortified.

She says she thought, "Oh, my God. Get away from me." But instead of answering, she just walked back into class.

At home, she cried, and told her mother what happened.

It appears that at least a few other girls were also asked the same question.

On Sept. 21, Martin and other girls were called to the office of Principal Robert Worden. Lisa Raymond, the assistant superintendent for business, was also there, Martin said.

"They just asked me what he (Bunce) said. I told them, and they said thanks for coming," she said.

The small Sullivan County school has been in an uproar for the last week. Girls have worn tampons on their clothes in protest, and purses made out of tampon boxes. Some boys wore maxi-pads stuck to their shirts in support.


After hearing that someone might have been suspended for the protest, freshman Hannah Lindquist, 14, went to talk to Worden. She wore her protest necklace, an OB tampon box on a piece of yarn. She said Worden confiscated it, talked to her about the code of conduct and the backpack rule — and told her she was now "part of the problem."

Tri-Valley Superintendent Nancy George, who has refused to meet with any reporters today, yestedar said that when Worden, Bunce and another staffer did the bag check, they were telling students to put the bags in their lockers. The administration is investigating whether they said anything more to some girls.

"I have had some parents talk to me personally, and they gave me the names of some students" who were asked, she said. "We're certainly not going to make light of this. It's a very sensitive issue, but it needs to be handled." Parents with more information should call her directly, she added.

Raymond and Worden failed to return calls yesterday for comment. Bunce was not working yesterday, and his home phone number is unlisted.

Bunce was forced to retire from the Monticello Police Department in 2002 after he and the former chief were caught running their process-serving business on village time.

School board President Lori Mickelson declined comment.

The school banned backpacks in the halls this year for two reasons, George said: Student health, because heavy bags could hurt the kids' backs or people could trip on them; and for security concerns, felt nationwide, about concealed weapons.

Jenny Watson, 17, a senior, said kids have been confused since school started about the bag rules. Last week, a rumor started that girls could only carry purses if they had their periods. And then, on Sept. 19, school staff did the bag sweep.

"Faculty members pulling out ninth-grade girls is intimidating," Watson said, and the kids are angry about that. "We're a small school. We only have about 400 people. If anything happens, it hits all of us."

The protests have boiled over. Two days ago, state police say, a 16-year-old boy wearing nothing but a paper bag on his head streaked through the high school as students arrived. The boy was charged with public lewdness, a misdemeanor. He told police he was protesting the backpack policy.

Parents are furious.

Evelyn Fassetta, whose oldest daughter is in seventh grade, said she knows of at least one other girl who was asked The Question. "I'm livid, and I want the school to fire these guys," she said. "If these kids are going this far (in protest), then we need to listen."

Kim Martin, Samantha's mom, said she feels like the district is calling her daughter a liar and backing Bunce.

"I don't want him to be able to talk to girls like that," she said. "They're kids, but they're still citizens. They have rights."

Vern Lindquist, Hannah's dad, said, "I think serious allegations like this need to he investigated honestly and openly."


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