OLYMPIA, Wash. — A proposal being considered in Olympia might lead to better access to free feminine-hygiene products in schools statewide.

The recently prefiled Senate Bill 6073 states “school districts must make menstrual hygiene products available at no cost in all gender-neutral bathrooms and bathrooms designated for female students located in public schools that serve students in any of grades six through twelve.

The menstrual hygiene products must include sanitary napkins, tampons, or similar items and be for student use only.

Sponsoring senator Manka Dhingra (D-45th District) says her daughter’s school already provides no-cost pads for students, something she says keeps their focus on learning.

She says the taboo around menstruation is already embarrassing for young girls, something she says Senate Bill 6073 can help.

“This is yet another example of our children knowing what they need in order to be successful. I think it’s very important as lawmakers to listen to everyone that has any kind of barrier to success,” Dhingra explains.

So far, 18 lawmakers are supporting the measure which, if passed, would go into effect at the beginning of the 2021-22 school year.

The proposed legislation stipulates that school districts bear the cost of supplying menstrual hygiene products, though they may seek grants or partner with nonprofit or community-based organizations to fulfill this obligation.

The 66th session of the State of Washington legislature begins Monday, Jan. 13th.

From KEPR 

by Christopher Poulsen