Free feminine hygiene products lessen the stress of periods


Amelia Klingberg, News Beat

Free tampons and pads are now available in the women’s restrooms in the 100 and 600 wings. By the 2022-23 school year, all school women’s restrooms will be stocked. 

The Menstrual Equity Act, passed in October, requires public schools for grades 6-12, community colleges, and California State Universities to provide free menstrual products in restrooms by the 2022-23 school year. 

The school decided to start the transition this year, when junior Erika DeLaRosa brought up the issue with administration to make the products more accessible, Assistant Principal Daniella Quiñones said. 

“Sometimes I’ve come up on the occasion where I need a period product or my friend will need a period product and I wouldn’t always have one accessible,” DeLaRosa said. “So I thought of the idea of how easy it would be for all females to be able to just walk to the bathroom and get a free pad or tampon.”

Feminine hygiene products were previously only available upon request. 

The administration “concentrated the availability in the administration office, so students came there to request them as needed, but also we concentrated access in some of our ELD classes in particular where we know more of our struggling or lower income students are concentrated,” said Quiñones. 

Free pads and tampons could also be found in the treasure closet and the girl’s locker room. Other restrooms charge 25 cents per menstrual product. 

DeLaRosa said she is relieved that the school has begun the transition to free products in the restrooms; she said she’s happy that students now have easier access to the free menstrual products. 

“I also like how [the transition has] brought up a lot of talk about periods,” DeLaRosa said. “To this day, even though our society has advanced a lot, I still think periods and feminine products are something people tend to filter and aren’t comfortable with openly talking about it.”

 DeLaRosa said she’s found that her fellow classmates are starting to be a little more open after the dispensers were installed. 

“The new dispensers save them an extra step of having to worry in the morning ‘Oh, I’m on my period. Do I have enough tampons in my backpack to last a few days?’” DeLaRosa said.