Texas Education Agency: Require Free Sanitary Products in Girls' Restrooms

Texas Education Agency: Require Free Sanitary Products in Girls' Restrooms

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Haekyu Yang started this petition to TEXAS EDUCATION AGENCY

Schools are relied on by many families for many different reasons. Some rely on them for education, some rely on them for counseling, some even rely on them for necessities such as food and water. These attempts to care for kids are very commendable and many are grateful for the government for caring for them. However, the school fails to cover a necessity for certain individuals, and that is sanitary products for women.

In middle and high school, as a boy, menstruation was a taboo topic that was hurriedly glossed over in sex education. All we learned was that every month, a girl sheds the lining on her uterus and produces blood. However, what the program didn't teach us was that menstruation is uncomfortable, random, and involuntary, meaning girls couldn't "hold it in", leading to not only the inability to plan, but the blatant embarrassment in having to ask a teacher they "have to go". Talking to some friends that suffer these problems, they describe universal scenarios of using the restroom, realizing its that time of the month, going to the classroom again to grab a pad, panicking in a class full of adolescent boys to not be noticed, and coming back to class greeted by the stares and whispers of their classmates. And that's only if they came prepared. The less fortunate, those with no friends to uncomfortably nag for a pad or don't have a pad themselves, resort to other options such as using toilet paper or simply let it ruin their clothes.

Myself as a male cannot relate with any of this and many may reason that my life wouldn't be drastically affected. However, I strongly believe that every student must have the closest equal footing to another student as they can get. But, as we know, we are all different sizes, shapes, genders and ethnicities and the school must account for that the same way they do with poverty and kids with special needs. Girls that worry about their clothes being ruined or being mocked cannot possibly study and retain information the same way other individuals may have the luxury of doing. Some people may bewail the cost of providing all middle to high school kids with sanitary products, however, there are a few reasons why this goal is not only achievable but necessary. The first reason is that there are other states that do this already. For example, New York signed a bill in 2016 making tampons and pads not only available for the school system, but even prisons and homeless shelters. The second reason is that they definitely won't run out as fast as toilet paper. While toilet paper must be used everyday, sanitary products will be used to a much fewer extent as girls will only use them once a month. The third reason is sanitary products are a necessity for individuals which should come first as opposed to believing that girls should simply "go with the flow". The Texas Education Agency definitely has money to fund these types of projects and instead of misspending the money, (http://www.star-telegram.com/news/local/community/fort-worth/article3865141.html I believe they can use it to help individuals that need it the most. 

To the Texas Education Agency, I would advocate for funding allotted to the purchase of sanitary products for women in middle and high schools in the state of Texas. This isn't a radical nor new proposal, as there are several states that have done this(such as California, Illinois, New Hampshire and New York, according to the WSJ) and had no problem with the lack of quality education(with 3 out of the 4 states listed out ranking Texas in terms of highest test scores based on the US Census). Through the state of Texas making sanitary products for women free, there will be less absences in valuable class time along with a general stigmatization on the taboo of periods. When it comes to helping kids learn or helping kids feel safe and healthy, schools are one of the #1 choices for many families but through simple funding for essential items that are no different from toilet paper or soap, we can be able to create a safer and more academic enriching environment for generations to come.

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