Huzzah! Free tampons and pads in high school bathrooms! Why hasn’t this happened earlier?
Great news for period positivity this week as we learned that 25 public high schools in NYC will offer free feminine hygiene products in their bathrooms by the end of March. This will end up affecting 11,600 students, says Education Department officials, who will now be able to easily access their necessary period care and feel more comfortable about it. (No more having to ask the nurse, or worse, do the toilet paper panties rolls that soaks through in 5 minutes.)
“Having easy access to feminine care products is essential,” said Deputy Schools Chancellor Elizabeth Rose who is helping to manage the project. “This pilot marks a major step in providing additional resources to students in need.”
And Education Department officials say if it goes well, the program could be expanded to more middle schools and high schools citywide. (There are 496 public high schools alone in NYC so let’s hope so!)
But it probably wouldn’t have even happened without the stupendous audacity of City Councilwoman Julissa Ferreras-Copeland (D-Queens), who put a free tampon and pad dispenser in the bathroom of the Queens High School for Arts and Business last year. After reading a New York Times op-ed by Jennifer Weiss-Wolf early last year, Ferreras-Copeland was inspired to use her position to create change, she told The Atlantic.
Julissa Ferreras-Copeland has also joined Jennifer Weiss-Wolf in an effort to end the statewide tax on period products.