DSUSD School Board Meeting Raises Questions About New California Bill

Kamari Esquerra

“If we can’t make these products free then we need to at least make them more affordable and accessible,” said Assemblymember Christina Garcia.

 

Beginning this year – California public schools and universities are required to provide free menstrual products in restrooms under a bill signed by Governor Newsom in October 2021.

 

Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia, who refers to herself as “the period princess”, authored the legislation known as The Menstrual Equity Act Of 20-21.  

 

Under the bill… all schools maintaining grades 6 through 12, community colleges, and California State University campuses must stock their restrooms with free menstrual products.

 

“We work to eliminate the tax on menstrual products to ensure that we have access to these products everywhere and anywhere just like we do with toilet paper, so we’ve been able to get them included in low-income middle schools and high schools,” said Assemblymember Garcia.

 

The supply is expected to be made available in women’s restrooms, all gender-neutral restrooms, and at least one male restroom. That’s been a concern for some parents… and educators… in the Coachella Valley.

 

“Why? Why would you put a tampon dispenser in the boys bathroom?” said one parent in attendance at the meeting.

 

“Take the tampon dispensers out of there, the freaking boys bathroom. It’s just insanity and it needs to stop.”

 

State and local municipal buildings are also required to provide free menstrual products in its public restrooms. Assemblywoman Garcia says it is in response to the necessary need on the part of women and others with periods. 

 

“I want to make sure that your biology is not a reason that you’re missing out on education or anything else in society out there,” said Assemblymember Garcia. “It’s not something that’s dirty, it’s not something that we should be ashamed of, it’s not something we need to hide. We need to be able to talk about this and ensure that people who menstruate are getting everything that they need out there.”

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