CHS should consider providing free menstrual products in bathrooms

CHS should consider providing free menstrual products in bathrooms

Maddie Kosc

Whether it’s hiding a tampon up your sleeve to avoid embarrassment or having to leave school because you ran out of your own supplies, we’ve all been there. Something as normal as my period shouldn’t stand in the way of me having a regular school day. As a teenage female who attends high school, I’m tired of feeling like my period is something to hide or ignore. After all, it is something all of us have to deal with.

We walk into the bathroom expecting it to be stocked with paper towels, hand soap and toilet paper. But what about female hygienic products? Women need these products the same way we need toilet paper, so why the difference?

Not only do we have to deal with the stigma surrounding menstruation, but we also find ourselves paying an extremely high cost for the basic products that we need to keep functioning for these four to seven days.

According to USA Today, the average female spends somewhere between $150-$300 per year on feminine hygiene products. Period products come with a high price tag that can often become too much for some teens and families to pay. Free tampons and pads being provided at CHS would be a small step in fighting the period poverty that exists all around us.

Additionally, free feminine products at CHS would relieve some of the stress that high school girls are dealing with every month. Having your period is simply added stress to an already stressful time of life. So often I see girls let their period get in the way of their school day, either letting it affect their performance on an assessment, or even allowing it to impact their class attendance.

The security of having a backup plan, something else to rely on outside of your own supplies, would alleviate some of the extra weight on teenage girls’ shoulders and remove one item off of the endless list of things high school girls have to worry about.

Most importantly, the school’s acknowledgement of a teenage girl’s cycle in an attempt to ease their experience would allow girls at CHS to feel much more normal about something that for so long they have been taught to avoid. By letting it be known that this school is understanding of this very regular part of life, girls would feel significantly more confident and accepted by their peers.

While it may come at a cost for CHS, placing free period products in even just a few bathrooms throughout the school would not only be a first step in achieving menstrual equality at CHS but also allow us to set an example for other institutions across the country by normalizing something so many of us have to deal with.

The views in this column do not necessarily reflect the views of the HiLite staff. Reach Maddie Kosc at [email protected]