PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — An act of vandalism involving a tampon dispenser inside a boy’s bathroom at Lakeridge High School in Lake Oswego has become a topic of discussion among some social media feeds in the Portland area, months after the issue happened.
On May 18, Lakeridge High School Principal Desiree Fisher sent an email to the school community about a tampon dispenser that was repeatedly removed from the boy’s bathroom wall and dunked into a nearby toilet.
“In the last weeks, we have been combating vandalism in the boy’s bathrooms,” Fisher’s May email stated. “Students have been taking the tampon dispensers down and placing them inside the toilets.”
No bathroom vandals were ever caught. However, Fisher’s email sparked online political chatter about Oregon’s Menstrual Dignity Act, a piece of legislation passed in 2021, which requires public schools to provide free tampons and sanitary pads to students through dispensers placed in at least two student bathrooms in each building.
On Nov. 8, a photo of the vandalism resurfaced on the popular local Facebook group WTF Portland. The post sparked a passionate response from the community but gave no context to when the vandalism actually occurred.
Lake Oswego School District spokesperson Mary Kay told KOIN 6 News that the vandalism stopped after the principal publicly addressed the issue with the campus community in May.
“Each time that the dispensers are taken down, the school needs to spend time and resources putting them back up in order to be compliant with House Bill 3294,” Fisher said in her letter to students, parents and teachers. “We are asking our student body to be respectful of school property, and to be sensitive to all of our student’s needs. We encourage families to have conversations with your students at home about menstruation, menstrual products, sexuality, and health.”
The Lake Oswego School District said that the high school has not experienced any additional issues with the tampon dispensers.
No other information is available about the vandalism committed last semester.