Making period products more accessible

An infographic made by Ava Weatherford displaying statistics regarding different period products.

Ava Weatherford

An infographic made by Ava Weatherford displaying statistics regarding different period products.

Ava Weatherford, Reporter

Inside the locker rooms before cardio, I asked my P.E. teacher for a pad. She gave me one in the lightest size from her own bag. I was grateful for anything since I had left my bag in my locker upstairs. But I was also annoyed. Why did my P.E. teacher have to give me one of her own pads? Why aren’t there pads or tampons available in the bathroom?

Periods are something nearly half of the students in our school go through monthly. But pads and tampons aren’t as accessible as they should be. In data from a survey, only 20% said they have never struggled to access period products. 

There are no free pads in any of the bathrooms. There are only boxes in the women’s bathroom that require you to pay 25 cents and 70% of those surveyed said they have never been able to use them.

The only places in our school that have free pads and tampons are the nurse’s office and the library. However, students might not be able to get to those places in time or feel comfortable asking. Even assuming a student is comfortable and able to go to the office, the pads and tampons are uncomfortable, and there aren’t enough for students to take home or use throughout the entire day. Senior Emily Rundell added to this, “Not everyone has access at home to feminine products, and most don’t have money for the products.”

Teachers also need to be conscious of this issue. One student said, “Some teachers say you can’t use the bathroom or you can’t bring a bag with you…” This is extremely problematic; no one should have to wait to change out pads or tampons. This can be extremely stressful, distracting, and frustrating.

If we want to have a more comfortable and secure environment for our students, available access to pads and tampons needs to improve. There needs to be pads and tampons in multiple sizes in every bathroom. Not just women experience periods, and many people have different flows that can’t be covered with a “light” tampon. 

Besides, having pads and tampons in the bathrooms should be completely free. Period products are a basic hygiene necessity. On a larger scale, no one should have to pay for pads and tampons. Since for now, that is not the case, it is understandable this change would require more of the school’s budget to go to buy them. However, it’s worth it to support our students. The school could get donations from CCA parents if they need them.

There should be no reason the students at CCAHS should not have easily accessible, plentiful, and quality period products.