Free Menstrual Products for MCPS Bathrooms

Free Menstrual Products for MCPS Bathrooms

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McKenzie Phelan started this petition to Superintendent Dr. Jack R. Smith and

Menstruation is not a luxury. People with vaginas will have an average of 500 periods in their lifetime, each lasting 3-7 days, and involving about 7 teaspoons of blood. Doing the math, that adds up to about 730 cups, or 45.5 gallons of blood! Unfortunately, this natural bodily cycle is often disrespected, or even flat-out ignored, by the spread of misinformation, shaming of menstruating people, and, of course, the infamous “pink tax” on menstrual hygiene products such as pads and tampons. 


For most menustrators in America, it’s the cost of sanitary products that makes periods more than just a monthly nuisance, especially for teenagers. According to period.org, 1 in 5 teens have struggled to afford menstrual hygiene products, and 25% have missed school because they couldn’t access sanitary products. The lack of access to a basic necessity has been doing serious damage to students across the USA. Of course, students could ask a teacher or nurse for a sanitary product, but the process can be embarrassing, especially for younger children - according to pediatrician Dr. Sara Kreckman, it’s not uncommon for periods to start at ages 8 or 9. 


Fortunately, the Maryland State government has been working to solve this problem. House Bill 208, introduced on January 16, 2020, will require all schools in the state of Maryland to provide dispensers for free menstrual products in at least two bathrooms by October 2020, and in all bathrooms by August 1, 2024. But Montgomery County can do better! Four and a half years is too long to wait to have a basic need fulfilled. MCPS needs to provide free menstrual products in all of its bathrooms within a year of this HB 208’s introduction, by January of 2021. 


If the school system can provide paper towels, soap, and even condoms to its students free of charge, free menstrual products shouldn’t be a challenge. Sign this petition to support the rights of all students to have safe, clean periods, and demand change for MoCo!

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