A Letter From the Editors

In an effort to alleviate the stress that comes with menstruation, the Palos Verdes Organization of Women plans to provide free sanitary hygiene products in girls’ bathrooms across campus through regular donation drives. 

PVOW is arranging a preliminary trial by putting up baskets with sanitary products in the girls’ bathrooms. 

As long as students are not wasting the products, PVOW plans to collaborate with district administrators to install a constant supply of menstruation products throughout the year. 

The project will save students the panic of loudly digging through their backpacks for a pad or tampon in the middle of class, only to realize they forgot to restock their supply. Instead of having to go around asking people for feminine products, students would have free access whenever necessary. 

Unexpectedly getting your period at school is extremely stressful and the added uncertainty of finding sanitary products in such a time of need only worsens the situation. 

A supply of feminine hygiene products is exactly what students need to feel supported during what often is an agonizing week. 

In the age of the Pink Tax and dancing around the taboo topic of periods, entering a bathroom with free products normalizes a natural cycle that, unfortunately, many people are embarrassed to talk about. The baskets of products would serve as a daily reminder that menstruation is normal and is nothing to be ashamed about. 

Although girls’ bathrooms have dispensers with sanitary products, they are hardly ever used because each product costs 50 cents and may not even be the appropriate absorbency for each person, increasing the risk of bleeding through it. The obsoleteness of these dispensers highlights the need for an updated, more reliable system. 

However, concerns over student behavior are keeping this vital resource from being freely stocked in our bathrooms.

From wasting bathroom resources to constantly littering the stalls with trash, it is evident that student bathroom etiquette is subpar. 

Not only is considerate bathroom behavior crucial for this to happen, but it is also important to show respect for the custodians cleaning the bathrooms. Translation: no sticking pads on the walls and absolutely no flushing tampons down the toilet. 

On a global scale, countries such as Spain, England, and Scotland already provide educational institutions with free period products. Assuming that students use them responsibly, taking initiative at PVHS could lead to a district-wide movement for accessible products possibly beginning at earlier school levels. 

Exposing younger students to student-implemented systems could foster respectful bathroom habits and normalizes having a period. 

Ultimately, providing free sanitary products builds a safe and supportive bathroom environment, leading to less stressful period experiences.