An Oregon mom is opposing a new state legislation requiring free tampons in all boys’ school facilities, arguing that the money would be better spent on textbooks and supplies.
Cherylene Stritenberg of the Eagle Point School District has petitioned the Oregon Department of Education to repeal the Menstrual Dignity Act, starting a two-week comment period on the law before it takes effect for the following school year, according to Oregon Live.
Public schools, community colleges, and universities are required by law to supply free menstruation products in all toilets, even those intended for males as early as kindergarten.
Stritenberg, who has already petitioned the state to remove the COVID vaccination mandate for teachers and volunteers, said the rule adds cost to a state that battles to graduate more than 80% of its high school students.
In reality, the Oregon Legislative Revenue Office anticipated last year that the state would divert roughly $5.6 million from the State School Fund in the first two years, which would be enough to cover the wages of around 30 teachers.
Stritenberg said that don’t get her wrong. She is not opposed to letting these products accessible, but needing them to divert resources from the State School Funds to ensure they are particularly included in boys’ bathrooms is a misuse of those funds. She’s implying the money would rather be included in new textbooks and supplies.
Her goal is that one can re-evaluate and find a more suitable approach that is both financially responsible and useful to people in need, she added.
The Menstrual Dignity Act was first sponsored in the Oregon state legislature by Democratic Rep. Ricki Ruiz, and it received widespread support in the Oregon House of Representatives, with all but one Republican voting in favour.
According to Oregon Live, advocates argue that offering free universal access to period products will remove unneeded humiliation and cost for adolescents going through adolescence.
This is largely approved, while supporters argue that putting the goods in males’ bathrooms is a sham for wokeness and a waste of money.
The early draft of the measure essentially guaranteed schools to supply items in gender-neutral and girls’ restrooms, and when the programme launched last year, districts were supposed to distribute free tampons and pads in ‘at least two toilets,’ but could choose which ones
The regulation was then amended to encompass all males’ bathrooms, allowing transgender and non-binary pupils access to these goods.
Ruiz explained that as we one understands many of the youngsters do not identify as female or male, or are shifting genders. They are trying to honor that and ensure that these services are available in all toilets for anyone who may be challenged to move to a different facility.
It is currently the most comprehensive menstrual products bill on the West Coast.
Due to hefty expenses, California lawmakers reduced its 2021 requirement to cover just school restrooms in grades six through twelve, as well as at least one boys’ bathroom every school.
Community colleges and state universities must also provide at least one on-campus site where pupils may obtain these items.
In Washington, public and private schools must supply menstruation products in all gender-neutral and female restrooms for students in grades six through twelve.
If a school does not have a gender-neutral restroom, menstrual hygiene items must be kept in at least one male restroom.
In addition, pupils at grades three through five must have availability to these items in at least one place, according to the law.
However, Oregon’s rule goes even farther, requiring tampons and pads in boys’ restrooms for kids as young as kindergarten, which Stritenberg believes is a waste of resources and raises concerns that kids would overuse the goods and harm the facilities.
The Beaverton School District, Portland Public Schools, and David Douglas School District have already spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on new dispensers for all toilets, despite the fact that state officials are intended to pay the school districts.
Portland spent over $200,000 on items and dispensers, comprising bigger units for gender-neutral and girls’ restrooms, as well as smaller units for boys’ restrooms.
Meanwhile, the Beaverton School District has spent over $300,000 on the project.
Stritenberg is now attempting to block the action by appealing to the state to allow for public comment before the law takes effect.
The Education Department has 90 days to reply to the petition.
If state authorities reverse the regulation, districts may continue to supply the goods in boys’ restrooms, and the Beaverton School District’s chief facilities officer, Josh Gamez, stated that the district would like to hear from its community before reaching a choice.
He explained that if the product is used, they want to promote it. This is for the pupils, says the teacher.
Daphne Ischer, who graduated from high school last spring, wants the larger law to remain in place.
She earlier stated that transgender and non-gendered pupils must feel embraced.
She said in support of the law last year that there aren’t always gender-neutral restrooms, there aren’t always a lot of them, and there’s not always total availability to them.
Ischer went on to say that she sees the widespread availability of dispensers as an opportunity to begin teaching younger kids about periods and menstrual hygiene.
When they begin these dialogues in the classrooms early and sustain them, periods become less stigmatised.
Ruiz also stated that he is optimistic the law will pass, though he is open to making changes if required.