The District 204 School Board heard demands for action from some female students at its latest meeting.
The students are claiming the district is in violation of a state law which requires free feminine hygiene products be placed in the restrooms of schools that teach grades six through 12.
“I’m usually prepared and can usually anticipate when I’ll need menstrual products,” said Metea Valley Senior Avani Shah. “But every now and then I’ll have to use the restroom and realize I’m not prepared. In those moments for me to have to go back to class and request a pass to the nurse to get what I need, it feels mundane and ludicrous.”
The nurse’s offices are the only locations in District 204’s schools where feminine hygiene products are currently available.
And the girls who spoke said that’s not in line with the new Learn with Dignity Act, which went into effect January 1, 2018.
The law says “the school district shall make feminine hygiene products available, at no cost to students, in the bathrooms of school buildings.”
And according to those who spoke, the nurse’s office is not an ideal location because getting a pass to the nurse can require explaining the situation to a teacher – which they may not be comfortable with.
It also takes a lot more time than a trip to the bathroom.
“In this time, I had to give away class time and potential help for my next test, use another pass that I might need for later emergencies, and my self respect, since I had to walk down the hall praying that I did not ruin my pants,” said Metea Valley Senior Grace Buchta. “Just to get a product that’s supposed to be provided to my fellow female students and I in the bathroom right down the hall from my classroom.”
“We have placed products directly in the restrooms located in the nurse’s office. To build awareness, our administrators posted signs in all restrooms to make sure students know where to go and there is no cost. We will continue to identify other communication avenues or opportunities to increase awareness,” said District 204 in an email.
In comparison, District 203 does have feminine hygiene products available at no cost in its bathrooms.
Naperville News 17’s Blane Erwin reports.
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