Opinion: NHS should institute bathroom supply boxes

Elly Green, Print Production Manager

Periods come with being a girl, everybody knows that. However, what most people do not know is that the struggle to find sanitary products out in public is the hardest part of having a period. 

Whether it be school, work, or just hanging out in public, women everyday encounter the issue of not having feminine products. When it comes to school, a girl’s best bet of getting a needed feminine product is by asking another girl. Even then, finding someone who has the sanitary product of your preference is rare and debatably impossible. 

Recently, the school’s administration has offered girls in the school the chance to stop by the front office for free sanitary products. While this improvement is certainly something to be celebrated, most girls might not have the courage to go ask for a feminine product. 

My proposal is to take the sanitary products being kept in the office and disperse them throughout the women’s bathrooms, giving girls all over the school a chance to take what feminine products they need at the moment they need it. This also benefits girls who cannot afford sanitary products at home to take enough supplies to last them throughout their whole cycle without having to explain their situation to administrators. 

This change could also encourage female teachers and other girl students to donate feminine products to the girls’ bathrooms. Meaning that these women could bring in boxes of products or just extra pads, tampons, pantyliners they might have so the girls who are in need of a product can choose their preference of feminine products. 

In 2021, California Governor Gavin Newsome signed a law into action that requires low-income schools in disadvantaged areas to provide students with free menstrual products. While the law was originally put into place in 2017, Newsome expanded the law to apply to grades six through 12, community colleges, California State colleges and University of California systems starting in the 2022-2023 school year, according to The Associated Press. 

According to advocacy group, Women’s Voices for the Earth, several other states have been considering or even requiring having free menstrual products in public schools. For example, Purdue University in Indiana decided to offer free feminine hygiene products in campus bathrooms. 

Specifically this year, bills related to period equity have been introduced in 37 states. However, only five states require schools to provide menstrual products. In Michigan, the city of Ann Arbor recently passed a law to stock all public toilets with menstrual products. On the other hand, in Florida, legislation that would require free products in school restrooms has been introduced twice but never passed. 

Being a student and member of social life does not end when your period starts, but we could help these girls out by stocking restrooms with all the supplies they need, instead of leaving them to their own devices.