Sign our National Petition to End Period Poverty
In 21st century America, schools have an obligation to serve all students equitably. Every student deserves the reassurance that their school restrooms are outfitted with necessities to accommodate their biological needs. Yet, for roughly half the US student population, there is a glaring exception to this commitment: menstrual hygiene products.
The US Department of Education’s stated mission is to “promote student achievement and preparation for global competitiveness by fostering educational excellence and ensuring equal access." We call on you, Secretary DeVos, to fulfill your agency’s charge to remove discriminatory barriers that hold students back.
Menstrual hygiene products are basic necessities, and the inability to access them affects a student’s freedom to study, be healthy, and participate in society with dignity. Studies have shown that when students lack access to menstrual hygiene products they skip or miss class, face embarrassment or objectification because of period stains, and are limited both academically and socially.
The Department of Education’s self-declared role is clear, and to uphold that pledge it must address inequity among students by championing menstrual equity. That includes acknowledging period products as health necessities, advocating for policies that support students who menstruate, funding programs to provide period products for free to students in all school restrooms, promoting comprehensive, co-ed period health education for students before the age of 12, and commissioning a study to determine the impact period poverty has in the United States.
Secretary DeVos, you have a profound responsibility to create “safe and trusted” environments for students across the nation. Now is the time and this is the way to fulfill your moral obligation.
Together we can end period poverty and achieve menstrual equity.
From: [Your Name]
Interrupted studies. Missed classes. Stunted education. This is the reality for so many students who menstruate, simply because they lack access to free and readily available menstrual hygiene products.
Free toilet paper and soap are provided in every school bathroom as basic necessities for natural bodily functions. Yet, for those who menstruate—roughly half the student population—similar resources aren’t provided, with dire consequences for individuals and society.
Free and easy access to period products is necessary for ensuring equal opportunity in education, especially for low-income and transgender students.
We, the undersigned, demand that all grade school, middle school, high school, and university campus restrooms, regardless of gender designation, serviced by university or school funding be consistently stocked with pads and tampons at no cost to students, and have sanitary disposal units within each stall. Measures to ensure that individuals with disabilities are being equally served must also be taken.
We’re on a tireless mission to ensure menstrual equity by empowering schools to acknowledge the value of every body. Join us, and demand equal opportunity for all students.