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Oregon public schools will put period products, instructions in 'every student bathroom'

FILE - Period Products (SBG)
FILE - Period Products (SBG)
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Schools in Oregon will soon be required to place menstrual products in all restrooms, including boys' restrooms, and Portland Public Schools are preparing to follow that requirement.

The Menstrual Dignity Act, signed into law by Gov. Kate Brown, requires elementary, middle, and high schools to place the products in bathrooms along with instructions on how to use them,

The program helps students participate actively in classes and school activities by alleviating some of the economic strain and experiences of shame that are often barriers for menstruating students accessing their education," says the Oregon Dept. of Education in its Menstrual Dignity for Students Toolkit.

Portland Public Schools (PPS) has reportedly released a statement on its planned implementation of the requirement.

PPS says it is taking a phased approach, stating it has implemented or begun to implement free, accessible products in girls and non-gendered bathrooms in comprehensive high schools during the 2021-2022 school year. Instructions are also said to be provided alongside those provided products.

By the start of the next school year (2022-2023), all bathrooms in all schools will have the products and instructions. PPS says this includes "male" bathrooms as well.

Instructions for how to use tampons and pads will be posted in all bathrooms," PPS says in the statement.

The school district said it has already ordered 500 of the product dispensers for the school restrooms to ensure "timely compliance" with the Menstrual Dignity Act.

Alongside providing menstrual products, PPS promises to provide all students with education on menstrual health, including boys in elementary and middle schools.

Beyond providing products, this program reminds us that all PPS schools must provide education on growth, development, and puberty that includes menstrual health," the school system says in the statement, "Additionally, the Health and Adapted/Physical Education team is providing all K-12 schools with basic lessons around the four pillars of Menstrual Dignity.

Those mentioned four pillars include "Privacy, Inclusivity, Access, and Education," according to PPS.

PPS says this education will be accessible to "students of all genders and all abilities" and will be "taught without shame."

The school system also encourages parents to discuss menstrual health with their children.

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TND has reached out to both PPS and the Oregon Dept. of Education but did not hear back before publication.

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