Free Menstrual Products in Florida Schools

Florida Legislature and Florida Department of Education

PERIOD is the largest youth-run NGO in women’s health in the world. We provide and celebrate menstrual hygiene through service, education, and policy — through the global distribution of period products to those in need, and engagement of youth leadership through a nationwide network of campus chapters.

Petition Written By:

Rithika Kacham: I love working with the Florida period policy team because menstrual equity policy change is something I have always wanted to take part in since I saw women struggling with this problem in my homeland, India. Through my organization “Girls Help Girls” and from the generous donors from Philanthropy Tank, I distribute menstrual supplies all over Palm Beach County, Florida.We are the Period

Reggie Lynn Agulto: Serving the community has always been a huge part of who I am as an individual. So I'm glad to have found a fam in the Period Movement, working on something beyond service and education - policy change.

Megan Enriquez: I’m 16 years old and I go to Grandview Preparatory School in Boca Raton, FL. I am proud to be a part of period because everyone should have access to menstrual products as they are a necessity for everyone who gets their period!

Sophia De La Cruz: As someone who is interested in policy, I was excited when I learned about PERIOD.’s policy/advocacy bootcamp and am so glad I signed up! I am passionate about women’s empowerment, and I believe that education and open communication together form the solution to all global issues.

Join the #FreeThePeriod Florida coalition on calling on the Florida Legislature and Florida Department of Education to mandate the provision of free menstrual products in all public K-12 schools to ensure equal access to education.

The #FreeThePeriod Florida Coalition is led by young constituents personally affected by the issue at hand and is supported by a number of organizations focused on the empowerment of young womxn.

Petition by
Michela Bedard
Portland, Oregon
Sponsored by
Portland, OR

To: Florida Legislature and Florida Department of Education
From: [Your Name]

The #FreeThePeriod Florida coalition calls on the Florida Legislature and Florida Department of Education to mandate the provision of free menstrual products in all public K-12 schools.

Just like toilet paper and soap, pads and tampons are basic hygiene necessities. However, they’re not provided in school bathrooms, creating educational barriers for students with periods. Bathrooms provide hygiene products for urination and defecation, but when a student gets their period unexpectedly during a school day, they must divert excessive time, energy, and money to prevent bleeding through their clothes.

Due to the coronavirus, Florida schools are currently closed for the rest of the school year as students finish their semesters at home. But periods do not stop for pandemics. While many of us are preparing for up to eight weeks in quarantine, those who experience period poverty, or the inability to afford or access menstrual products, will be forced to resort to unhygienic methods of maintaining their periods.

Our evidence is as follows:

There are widespread accounts of students missing class, being forced to buy pads instead of lunch, and facing shame as they walk across campus in bloody clothing. Although some institutions provide products in select places like the nurse's office, campus pantry, or health center, students must spend educational time to reach these locations. Products must be provided in bathrooms to be accessible in urgent situations. For comparison, no one expects students to bring their own soap to school or to ask the nurse’s office every time they need toilet paper.

In the U.S., 1 in 5 students miss school due to a lack of access to menstrual products [1]. According to the World Population Review 14.79% of Florida lives in poverty, and the percentage of those individuals who also menstruate are the most economically vulnerable to this flat taxation rate.

Providing free menstrual products could reduce costs in the many schools that have a coin-operated pad and tampon dispensers. The labor costs of collecting coins and repairing vandalized dispensers often cost schools more than the minimal revenue they make from them.

Nearly half of the population menstruates, yet access to period products on school campuses is limited and insufficient. However, students can start their periods as early as 8 years old (2nd grade) [6] and students at all income levels have periods.

Data from the 2016 U.S. census and two “The Always Confidence & Puberty” surveys conducted by the menstrual product company Always showed that:

Nearly one in five girls in the US have either left school early or missed school entirely because they did not have access to period products.

At puberty, many girl’s confidence plummets, with the onset of menstruation marking the lowest point.

When people learn that 1 in 5 girls in the U.S. have missed school due to lack of period protection, and discover those rates are true close to their hometowns, they’re shocked, and 89% of them want to take an action to help girls in their community stay in school.

Women typically spend around $150 - $300 annually on menstrual products, which can cause a financial strain for low-income students and their families.

Twenty-three percent of Florida’s children are living below the poverty level, and 66 percent of public school children qualify for free or reduced-price school lunch.

The urgent need for free, accessible period products on school campuses is clear. Over half of Florida’s student population - young women, transgender and non-binary individuals who menstruate - face everyday barriers that non-menstruators do not face, including missed class, financial issues, and public shame.

Join the #FreeThePeriod Florida coalition on calling on the Florida Legislature and Florida Department of Education to mandate the provision of free menstrual products in all public K-12 schools to ensure equal access to education.

The bill SB 234, entitled “Learning with Dignity” - calling to require Florida school districts to make menstrual products available at no charge in public school restrooms [7] - was filed by Senator Lauren Book in September 2019, introduced in January 2020 and died in Education in March 2020.

Additionally, Michael Grieco introduced HB 123: Feminine Hygiene Products in Public Schools in September 2019 along with co-introducers Anna Eskamani, Margaret Good, Amy Mercado, Cindy Polo, and Tina Polsky.


All credit to the students and activists leading this movement and pushing for legislative action. Special credit to the #FreeThePeriodCA organization for creating the template for this petition.

[1] The Always Confidence and Puberty Wave VI Study, Nov. 2017, based on females aged 16-24 years old.

[2] Free the Period campus survey, May 2018 to Sep 2019, based on 449 students

[3] Coalition for the Institutionalization of campus survey

[4] Guzman, Alyssa. UI to save nearly $30,000 on tampons. Aug 2015.

[5] AB-10 Feminine hygiene products: public school restrooms. Retrieved from:

[6] Menstrual Cycle. Retrieved from:

[7] “Learning with Dignity”, S.B. 234 (Florida 2019)