Free menstrual products available in the girls and boys bathroom

Easier access to free menstrual products is now provided


As the last week of September rolled around, new additions were added to the girls and boys bathrooms. Pads and tampons that students had to pay for, which have been in place for years, have now been replaced with free products for all to use. 

Students, especially those who need regular access to these products, have expressed how they feel about this new bathroom addition.

“I think this is a really important development for everyone that needs to use them,” senior Claire Hass said. “I really appreciate them doing this, but they could have definitely chosen better products.” 

The products that are in the bathroom are Tampax tampons and panty liners that are wrapped in cardboard. Panty liners are not ideal for many people who undergo a menstrual cycle each month; oftentimes, more durable or long-lasting products are desired. Additionally, there are no directions on any of the packaging – so students have said these items may not be helpful to those who have not had experience with these products.

Although the decision came to fruition through the District Management and Operations department, Oak Park High School Principal Mat McClenahan said that menstrual products have always been offered in the high school health office. Until now, they have not been made freely available in the bathrooms. 

“Law AB 367 is aimed at helping all students be in class as much as possible,” McClenahan said. “Menstrual issues are, at times, difficult to deal with. OPHS will continue to support all students as they navigate their teenage years.”

Students at Oak Park have said they appreciate the efforts by the school to make their days easier while on their menstrual cycles. According to the U.S. Department of Education, students should be able to use the restroom when needed, so this new addition will save them the extra trip to the health office.

“I think it’s nice to not have to freak out if you forgot to bring a pad or tampon,” said sophomore Maria McNeily.

More students on campus expressed how helpful having menstrual products in the bathrooms is and the convenience of it. 

“I think all menstrual products should be free, as they are a necessity to women and we don’t really have a choice to have them or not,” freshman Diya Varrier said. “It’s really good to have them free in bathrooms, especially in school, because if you forget them and can’t get one from other people, having access to them is super important.”