HRC hopes to spark change with bandage initiative

Human+Rights+Club+brings+skin-color+inclusive+bandages+to+WPS+schools%2C+in+hopes+of+creating+long-lasting+change.

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Human Rights Club brings skin-color inclusive bandages to WPS schools, in hopes of creating long-lasting change.

Anushka Patil, Co-Editor-in-Chief

In an effort to bring DEI (Diversity, Equity, Inclusion) changes to Westford Public Schools (WPS), WA Human Rights Club (HRC) has begun the process of distributing skin-color inclusive bandages, made by Tru-Colour, to all elementary and middle schools in the district.

“All of the bandages are packaged and ready to be delivered. Our club members have signed up to drop them off at the respective schools, so the bandages will be there in a matter of days,” HRC senior president Manasvi Iyengar said.

The initiative took form during an idea brainstorm, where members of the club raised concern towards the standard tan bandage provided by schools.

According to Iyengar, the majority of HRC members felt that the lack of variety in provided shades may cause younger students, especially, to feel excluded and less valued.

Our goal for supplying these band-aids is to break the Eurocentric custom that maybe not many of us have given much thought to. Although the color of band-aids may seem trivial to teenagers or even adults, they have the potential to make children feel represented and comfortable in such an easy way,” Iyengar said. 

At the recent Holiday Bazaar, HRC raised close to $330, with 90-95% of those funds being directed towards purchasing the bandages; the rest of the earnings have been allocated to other HRC projects.

Iyengar reflects on the process being a difficult one, as the club needed to go through different administrations within WPS to have the Tru-Colour bandages approved.

“It took a couple of meetings with WPS administration, since the bandages needed to adhere to latex-free requirements. Our club advisor Mrs. [Rebecca] Ingerslev helped out a lot in this process,” Iyengar said.

In the long term, according to Iyengar, HRC hopes to see these implementations foster new conversations within the district. The club wants not only for administration to fund these bandages but also for more resources to be provided to students that fuel inclusivity.

“We are still planning to fundraise, but we want WPS to take over this initiative. Our goal is to shine a light on some of the smaller ways that WPS can make students’ experiences a little better in terms of DEI,” Iyengar said.

In agreement, superintendent Dr. Christopher Chew sees WPS prioritizing the ways students can forever have access to these bandages.

“Having skin-color inclusive bandages is a very clear commitment to acknowledging the wide range of skin colors that exist in WPS and providing that option would better communicate that acknowledgment to all students and staff,” Chew said.