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The Current

Free feminine products keep Bruins prepared

Site Technician Stephanie O’Callaghan displays Bear River’s stock of feminine products. Photo by McKenna Hisaw

Many Bear River students don’t realize that some public schools are required under law to provide free feminine products for their students.

Assembly Bill No. 10 is a existing law that requires, with certain exceptions, every public and private school to have restroom facilities are to be clean, fully functional, and to be stocked with paper supplies and soap.

According to the bill, public schools that meet a “40% pupil poverty threshold” must  “stock 50% of the school’s restrooms with feminine hygiene products.” The bill prohibits a public school from charging for any menstrual products.

Bear River’s Principal Dr. Amy Besler talked about Assembly Bill No. 10 and how we do not qualify in our district.

“There are a few old feminine hygiene product dispensers located throughout the school district,” said Dr. Besler. “But the decision was made during the downturn of the economy to no longer stock them. With the passage of Assembly Bill 10 in October of 2017, we are now required to stock hygiene products in 50% of the restrooms at schools that meet a 40-percent pupil poverty threshold. Currently, North Point Academy and Silver Springs are the only sites in our district that qualify. At those sites, the district is installing dispensers that will accept tokens (available to students for free) or quarters.  All of the sites still have free feminine hygiene products available through the nurse or front office.”

Dr. Besler explained how she feels about the school offering free menstrual products to students.

“I think it is great that schools are able to offer free products in restrooms, but also understand the financial burden this causes to the school district,” said Dr. Besler.

English Teacher Sherlyn Reafsnyder explained her input on the matter.

“I don’t know as that is necessary since the Nurse’s Office has them available already,” said Mrs. Reafsnyder. “If that is not true in poorer schools. I believe it should be. Many poor students struggle to pay for these products.”

Bear River’s Site Technician Stephanie O’Callaghan shared that a local parent group often makes a generous donation of feminine products.

“Here at Bear River, thanks to the generous parent group, the Nurse’s Office has feminine products available to our students,” said Mrs. O’Callaghan.

Grace Cohenour, a Senior, shared her thoughts about the idea of having free feminine products in the school’s bathrooms.

“I think it’s a great idea,” said Cohenour.

Isabella Marshall, a Junior, explained her thoughts about the topic.

“Yeah, I think it would be a great idea for Bear River to have free feminine products,” said Marshall. “You never know when an emergency happens and not everyone carries extras so it would be really cool if they would have them available.”

Hannah Fulton, a Senior, elaborated on how these products should already be provided.

“I think it’s really dumb that we have to pay for something we have no control over,” she said. “We should already have free products in the bathrooms. It’s not like it’s a right or a privilege it’s just something that needs to happen.”

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Free feminine products keep Bruins prepared