Published September 29, 2007
GRAHAMSVILLE, N.Y. – A Sullivan County high school security guard is accused of asking female students if they had their periods to make sure students didn't have backpacks or other banned bags.
Samantha Martin, 14, said she had a small purse with her at Tri-Valley High School when security guard Mike Bunce called her out of class on Sept. 19. She said Bunce told her she couldn't have a purse unless she had her period and then asked her if she did.
Martin and several other girls who said they'd been asked the same question were called to discuss the matter with school officials, the Times Herald-Record of Middletown reported.
In protest, some students began wearing tampons or sanitary napkins stuck to their clothing while others carried purses made of tampon boxes. Police arrested one student protester for running naked through school halls with a paper bag on his head. He said he was protesting the policy on backpacks, according to police.
The district banned backpacks in hallways this year for safety and security reasons, said school officials.
"We are investigating the allegations and speaking with the students and staff involved," said Tri-Valley Central School District Superintendent Nancy George, who declined further comment.
Calls from The Associated Press to High School Principal Robert Worden were not returned Friday. Bunce's telephone listing could not be found.
Grahamsville is 87 miles northwest of New York City.