Mayor Elorza Launches Menstrual Hygiene Product Pilot Program at 4 Public Schools
Thursday, February 21, 2019
“No student should have to limit their education or miss school activities because they are menstruating. Periods are a part of life. When students are forced to disrupt their regular activity, they miss opportunities, it affects their self-esteem, and it reinforces stigma. Let’s work to ensure that all students in our school system are empowered, fully engaged, and focused on achieving in the classroom by meeting their basic needs,” said Elorza.
According to UNESCO, an estimated 100 million girls of high school age are missing school with periods and lack of period products.
Elorza was joined in the announcement by Superintendent of Providence Public Schools Christopher N. Maher, Councilwoman Nirva LaFortune and the City’s Director of Healthy Communities Ellen Cynar.
Dispensers carrying the menstrual hygiene products are now available to students, free of cost, in designated bathrooms in Hope High School, Classical High School, Delsesto Middle School and Greene Middle School throughout the pilot phase.
The program was announced during Elorza’s FY19 budget address and will be applied to all Providence public middle and high schools.
“A year after meeting with local educator Diandra Kalish, Kavelle Christie of Planned Parenthood and the Elorza administration, I am excited to see that our advocacy for menstrual equity has helped inspire the launch of the menstrual hygiene product pilot program. Our students deserve equal access to quality menstrual products without stigma because having a period is not a taboo- it is a component of our youth’s reproductive health,” said LaFortune.
Timed dispensers carrying the free period products have been installed in every female bathroom and in the school’s gender-neutral bathroom at Hope High School and DelSesto Middle School.
To experiment with different delivery options, timed dispensers were installed in one designated female bathroom and one gender-neutral bathroom at both Classical and Greene Middle School for the program’s pilot trial.
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