Period products belong in school bathrooms

Feminine products should not be considered luxuries. All public schools should be required to supply their female students with accessible tampons and pads.

According to the website Helping Women Period, a woman will spend approximately 3,500 days or ten years on her period and, without menstrual products, it would be nearly impossible for her to leave her home.

“Without feminine products, women cannot even function. They are just as essential and necessary as toilet paper, ” said sophomore Ava Jaslowich.  

Most school restrooms in the United States have products, but many charge 50 cents per pad or tampon. 

But Wachusett doesn’t even have that option. The school only provides female students with products she needs at the nurse’s office – and that has to change.

According to the website Huffpost, women will spend more than $2000 on pads and tampons alone throughout their life. Boxes of tampons can cost anywhere from six to ten dollars, and providing these items in the bathrooms would be the least the school could do.

Normalizing the biological occurrence of periods and providing this accommodation in the restrooms could help alleviate the embarrassment many Mountaineers have felt when they begin to bleed unexpectedly.

“I think if you get your period and you are not prepared for it, it’s extremely awkward. Everyone then knows about it because you have to bring your backpack to the bathroom to take out a feminine product,” said Jaslowich.

Many girls take extra measures when they have their period in order to blend in and feel comfortable. Female students must plan their outfits based on their menstrual cycle so that, when they have time to use the bathroom, they have a way to bring their products with them. 

While in high school, English teacher Sasha Possemato said she would wear sweatshirts just so she could hide her feminine products up her sleeve.

“Providing feminine products would alleviate a lot of anxiety for women especially when we are not prepared for it. It would also show that the school is accepting that a period is a natural part of a woman’s life,” said English teacher Sasha Possemato. 

Female students should not be shamed for experiencing their naturally occurring biological cycle. School administrators should take the first step towards normalizing young women’s periods by providing free access to feminine products in each school restroom.