Menstrual products should be offered free in school settings, period (Editorial)


Cameron Fritz

Feminine products are often provided in the nurse’s office, but at a price. These essential items should be available to all.

Female menstruation is often seen as a taboo topic in most settings. In general terms, people simply don’t like to talk about periods. However, avoiding or suppressing a topic of this magnitude can be incredibly dangerous, especially in a school setting where hundreds of young students are struggling to get the necessary products they need.

“It’s about taking a topic that’s taboo, that we’re told not to talk about — and when we do talk about, we’re made fun of; we’re ridiculed about it,” said Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia (D-Bell Gardens), chair of the Legislative Women’s Caucus.

The solution to this issue is simple: Provide free menstrual products in schools to support those who can’t afford the necessary products. Why isn’t this solution put in place?

According to, in the state of California, schools are required to provide free tampons and pads to all students. This bill was issued by Gov. Brown to help women in schools and workplaces.

When New York tested a program to provide free menstrual products in public schools, the school’s attendance went up by 2.4%. Such an outcome of an experiment puts the issue into perspective and provides a positive outlook on the struggles that students face during school.

“This bill is about fairness,” said Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson. “It’s about children. It’s about mothers. It’s about fathers. And it’s about time.”

In the Central Pennsylvania area, some schools, like Big Spring, offer free menstrual products in the nurse’s office to all students in need. This gives young students a sense of confidence and reassurance as they attend school without fear of not having necessary products.

However, not every school in central Pennsylvania offers free products. In fact, some schools charge for pads and tampons. This is not an effective system for young students who struggle to find these essential products.

Periscope reached out to Governor Wolf on Thursday, December 7th to find out his standpoint was on this issue. We have not received a response yet but hopefully, the changing laws in other states will prompt him to consider creating a similar bill for Pennsylvania.

Menstruation can be stressful on its own, but when young women don’t have access to pads and tampons, schools can become an incredibly uncomfortable place. In order to make sure all students feel confident and secure at school, free menstrual products must be available.

Disclaimer: Articles designated as “Editorial” represent the views and opinions of the author, not the 2017-2018 Periscope staff, CHS Administration, or the CHS student body.