Tampons and Pads Should Be Free in Schools, Students Say

Medscape Staff

December 03, 2021

In the absence of legislation requiring access to menstruation products in schools, students are campaigning and fundraising to make them freely available in school restrooms.

What to know:

  • Mahoro Amani, president of the student council at Miami Arts Charter High School in Florida, is campaigning for the school to provide free menstrual products in restrooms.

  • The state of Florida does not require schools to provide menstrual products to students. Bills about period equity have been introduced in 37 states in the past year, but only five states currently require schools to provide menstrual products.

  • According to a study funded by the advocacy group PERIOD, 23% of students have struggled to afford period products, and 70% of students reported that their school environment made them feel self-conscious about their period.

  • Some students miss class time because of lack of access to period products. In New York City, attendance at one high school increased by 2.4% among girls after tampons and pads were made available in restrooms.

  • For those resistant to legislation addressing period inequity, cost is often cited as a concern. The group Free the Tampon estimates it costs $5 to $7 per year per student to provide period products to students in public schools.

This is a summary of the article, "The Case for Free Tampons and Pads in Schools," published by NPR on December 2. The full article can be found on npr.org.

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