MCPS does not tamper with feminine sanitary product policy


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MCPS recently passed new policies about condoms, but feminine hygiene products are not getting the same attention.

Jordan Doss and Zhubin Bashiri

CHS female students only have access to sanitary pads in the health room at school.

Although there are dispensers in all CHS women’s restrooms, they cost 25 cents and happen to almost always be empty. With new MCPS regulations allowing free condoms to be distributed, it raises a question about why free tampons are not also easily accessible to students.

“There are so many reasons why there should be complete access to both pads AND tampons at all points in time at school. Some girls may get their period unexpectedly and so they do not have enough supplies on them and with empty dispensers and crappy pads, this becomes an extremely embarrassing issue,” junior Sanaa Smith said.

Maryland does not tax sanitary products; however, they are still not provided in public institutions, unlike states such as New York and Wisconsin who supply free pads and tampons in all of their public school buildings.

Maryland pays a minimum of $8,352 per month for condoms, but still have not found room in the budget for quality pads, or for any tampons in the health room at all. However, paying for condoms comes across as a good cause to MCPS because of the local increase in sexually transmitted infections (STIs).

Administrator Scott Smith claims the state cares more about condoms than periods because “STIs are more of an immediate health issue.”

Although attention is focused on condoms recently, there is a history of school policy changes concerning tampons and other feminine products. An eighth-grade student in Washington convinced her school to change their policy and provide free tampons and pads for all female students.

Voting age students or young adults can help make a change in the upcoming midterms elections. Wisconsin state representative Mellissa Sargent released a bill last year that mandates in schools and state buildings. Elected officials in Maryland can hold a referendum or vote in the 2018 midterms to change the fact that there are no free tampons in the school district.

Free tampons can be useful to students who might not be able to afford and need them to continue throughout their school day. If Marylanders rise up and use their voices, they can make changes in MCPS policies.