Public schools should provide free menstrual products

Azriel Badon, Voices

In a public school setting, it’s rare to find available menstrual products in bathrooms. In fact, an article by Abbey Maldon in PERIOD claims that only three states in the United States make it a requirement to provide free period products in public schools.   

Menstrual products should be provided in public schools.

Infographic made using Canva. (Isa Taylor)

Those who are menstruating often experience irregular and unpredictable periods, resulting in unexpected accidents. A study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimated that one in five girls deal with heavy menstrual bleeding, and among those, about one in four have a bleeding disorder, resulting in inconsistent cycles and heaviness. A period can occur suddenly, so providing the necessary resources is essential in an emergency. 

Period products are difficult for teenage girls and parents to afford. According to a study by the company Always, one in three parents is concerned about their ability to afford menstrual products monthly. Similarly, the National Education Association claims, “one in five teens struggle to afford menstrual products.” Free period products in schools would give students as well as parents less stress on cost.

The absence of period-accessible products poses a threat to mental health. A 2019 study surveyed around 700 women from 18-25 years old and found that nearly 18% reported that the lack of menstrual products in schools had a negative effect on mental health and academic focus. 

A senior at Roosevelt High School, Oiwel Kebekol, expresses her concerns about the lack of these products in high schools. 

“I think it would make it a lot easier if they were free and readily available for people,” Kebekol says. “Girls wouldn’t have to stress out as much asking people for such products.” 

Kebekol says menstrual products are just as necessary as toilet paper. 

While others, like Gina Davis at the University of South Florida, Odyssey, may be concerned that providing free menstrual products would mean increased taxes, convenience is necessary and important to provide support as well as financial and mental aid for those in need. 

One way to gradually begin the process of free period products at schools would be to have big companies team up with several low-income schools to help raise money and make a change.

So, begin in your schools or even in your community. Take a stand, raise your voice, and spread awareness. Gain support and propose your idea to fundraise for these necessary products. In that way, we can strive for a better tomorrow for girls and women around the world.

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Cotropia, Christopher A. “Menstruation Management in United States Schools and Implications for Attendance, Academic Performance, and Health.” Taylor & Francis, 18 Oct. 2019,

Davis, Gina, et al. “No, Our Tampons and Birth Control Shouldn’t Be Free.” The Odyssey Online, 5 Aug. 2020,

Flannery, Mary Ellen. “Growing Awareness of ‘Period Poverty’ in Schools.” NEA,

Henry, Meghan, et al. “The 2020 Annual Homeless Assessment Report (AHAR) to Congress – HUD USER.” The 2016 Annual Homeless Assessment Report (AHAR) to Congress, Part 1: Point-in-Time Estimates of Homelessness,

“Join Always to End Period Poverty!” Join Always to End Period Poverty!,

Malbon, Abbey. “Only Three U.S. States Require High Schools to Provide Free Feminine Products.” Medium, PERIOD, 16 July 2018,