RB provides free feminine products per state law

Emilia Gonzalez, Staff Reporter

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This article originally appeared on the February 14, 2018 issue of The Clarion.

As of the new year, schools in Illinois are now required to provide free feminine hygiene products in restrooms after the Illinois legislature passed HB-3215 in August 2017. At Riverside Brookfield High School, dispensers were placed in several girls bathrooms, both upstairs and downstairs,  providing both tampons and sanitary napkins. Of course, it’s all free and completely accessible to the students.

“I think it’s a good thing,” said RB security guard Denise Delgado. “Girls are pretty self-sufficient and responsible to take care of themselves so they know what’s in the building. It’s great.”

The school’s maintenance helps to follow this law by stocking the dispensers everyday and making sure it all works. The dispensers can easily get jammed and maintenance makes sure that does not happen.

According to Delgado, RB used to provide free feminine products a long time ago. However, for current students, it is a new thing in the school. The new convenient law caused a lot of reactions among the students.

“Some girls were pretty shocked by the dispensers in the bathrooms so they started wasting them, but I think as the year goes on they’ll realize it is just for them,” said Delgado. “They should embrace it, it’s for their use only.”

Girls often find themselves out of these necessary products and either ask around or go to the nurse, which can be irritating.

“As a girl, I am super glad that we now have this access,” said junior Alexa Camacho. “I think every girl has had those moments where we realize we forgot to bring our necessities and we have to ask from others, which is annoying.”

The law provides comfort, safety, convenience, and encourages girls to stay in school. The free hygiene products are there for anybody who needs them.

“Students will have a better sense of hygiene and they’ll be more comfortable in class, and maybe avoid missing some school or class time,” said school nurse, Patti Conway.

Feminine products have always been provided in the nurse’s office and will still be available when requested.

“We have our own supply here [in the nurse’s office] and will continue to hand that out for students who are in need of it,” said Conway.

“I actually didn’t know about it until it was well in the works that this was moving forward,” said Conway. “I think its great, having access to products that you need in order to be comfortable is important. I don’t see any hindrance to it. Not everybody can afford the necessary products for proper hygiene, and it’s important that girls are able to utilize it. There’s a lot of people who can’t afford products on their own, so if we can aid in some way, why not.”

Students seem satisfied with the new state law.

“I think the new state law shows that we are advancing in a way because this should have been provided for free a long time ago, considering we didn’t really choose to deal with periods,” said Camacho.

Sophomore Rachel Schwanderlik agrees that the new law is very beneficial.

“I think it’s very generous, especially when you’re struggling,” said Schwanderlik.

Other students are skeptical about the free products.

“I know some people who don’t wanna use them because since they’re free they think they’ll get what they pay for,” said sophomore Jazlyn Solis. “But I think it could be very helpful.”

Some students did not even get the news about this new law.

“I actually did not know,” said senior Lidija Kutlesa. “It’s a cool surprise.”

Male students also reacted positively to the news.

“I had no idea about this,” said senior Chandler Sengstock. “I think it’s amazing.”

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RB provides free feminine products per state law