With the multitude of stressors that we encounter on a day-to-day basis as high school students, finding feminine products is not something we should have to add to that laundry list of concerns. These struggles are something that should be talked about for the health of all students on campus who experience periods.
One of the main issues is the accessibility of the products provided by the school. Some bathrooms have dispensers that claim to have products available but in reality, they are more often empty than supplied. Not only are the dispensers empty, but you have to have 10-25 cents on you, which is not something many students just have on their person or bring to the bathrooms with them.
Some students are aware that the nurse supplies feminine hygiene products if a student needs them, for free. As of this year, there is now a basket of pads at the entrance of the nurse’s office for any student who may need one. Oftentimes the nurse will have a student in the clinic especially now with flu season coming up but, for a student who has never gone and gotten a product before they may feel like they need to ask for one, but that isn’t necessary anymore.
All of this of course is contingent on if the student can get away from class in order to go get what they need. With the new bathroom policy in play, students can’t be in certain areas in the school with a certain color pass which poses issues for a student who may need to walk to the nurse’s office. In order for a student to get a special pass that allows them all over the school, a student needs to tell their teacher where they are going and the teacher will typically follow it up with a “why?” which in this context some students are not comfortable talking about with a teacher.
The nurse, however, does not care what color pass you have. She won’t let your section colored pass stop you from getting what you need. This does not mean that the security officers follow the same policy, and they may ask, which once again poses an awkward moment for a student who may not want to explain themselves to a security officer.
It would be much easier if products were supplied in the bathrooms. It is a lot easier said than done to provide products in all bathrooms for the students to use and grab freely, not to mention the amount of money it would cost, but it would be much appreciated if the school could put forth an effort, or at the very least let us known the efforts they do have in place, to help students who have to deal with a period in a high school setting. The reality is emergencies happen and can cause stress that could be prevented for the sanity of students and staff alike.