Is It OK for Middle School Girls to Have to Pay for Pads?
Recently, girls from a local school said that they have to pay 25 cents for a feminine pad from the nurse's office. Some girls have to choose between a snack or a pad during their school day. Is this fair?
Six young ladies from Keith Middle School attended Monday night's New Bedford School Committee meeting to ask that feminine products like pads and tampons be included in the 2020 school budget. These brave girls made their case in front of the committee members and a full audience of people during the public comments portion of the meeting. You can watch them do so right here.
In my opinion, I think it's ridiculous. Girls who get their period at school (some for the first time ever) and were not prepared for it should have access to pads and/or tampons at no cost to them. This should be built into every middle and high school's annual budget. This has to do with being sanitary. If a student falls down in school and cuts their lip with blood everywhere and they go to the nurse to get help, is the school going to charge them for a band-aid? No, they aren't.
A few of us here at the radio station were talking about this when one of our high school interns overheard and wanted to tell us her story. Alexis was 14 years old and a ninth-grade student who unexpectedly got her period at school. She said that when she went to the nurse's office for help and to get a pad, the nurse told her it would be 50 cents. Alexis said she did not have any money with her. The nurse shook her head and told her no, that she would not be able to give her a pad. Alexis had to use toilet paper instead.
As a woman and a mother, I don't know how anyone would tell a young, 14-year-old girl that no, I'm not giving you a pad unless you pay the 25 or 50 cents for it. It's just wrong. The majority of these young ladies do not have the 25 cents to pay for each pad, which can add up. They really don't. But even if they did, I still feel these girls should not be shamed because of something over which they have no control.