In the coming months, all public schools in Oregon — regardless of their grade levels — will be required to offer tampons and other feminine hygiene products in boys’ restrooms “with instructions on how to use them,” according to paperwork obtained by The Oregonian.
The contentious provision is in line with the state’s brand new Menstrual Dignity Act, which was passed by Democratic Governor Kate Brown last year and requires that menstrual products be accessible in “every school bathroom.”
After the bill’s passage, the Oregon Dept. of Education created and distributed a “Medical Dignity for Students” toolkit to help local schools meet the law’s requirements.
Beginning immediately, every school needs to have menstrual product dispensers in two restrooms at least. However, by June 2023, those dispensers will be required in every restroom, according to KGW-TV. The dept. stressed that schools should “provide all-gender access to the products.”
“This new initiative will assist students in participating actively in school and extracurricular activities by reducing much of the financial strain and embarrassment that menstruating individuals face when attempting to attend school,” said Sasha Grenier, a sexual health specialist with the district.
“This is a progressive policy, but it’s also bipartisan,” says Michela Bedard, executive director of PERIOD in Portland. “Because menstruation does not distinguish by race, social class, or political leanings.”
It turns out that menstruation is not confined by sexual orientation or gender identification, either. The state’s resources for following the law are clogged with phrases like “students who menstruate” and “non-menstruating and menstruating students.” According to the department, the legislation promotes “equity in menstrual experiences.”
The toolkit continues, stating the new legislation aims to “assert the right to menstrual dignity for intersex, transgender, nonbinary, and two-spirit students.”
According to the La Grande Observer, Portland Public Schools is looking forward to implementing its planned implementation of the every restroom requirement.
The school district said in a recent statement that it will distribute feminine hygiene products “in all female and all-gender restrooms” beginning this fall, as well as in “all remaining bathrooms, including boys’ restrooms,” by the beginning of the next school year.
The progressive law, on the other hand, is facing significant resistance.
In a recent article, Family Research Council president Tony Perkins criticized the ridiculous legislation, noting that local taxpayers would be responsible for thousands of new tampon dispensers, which are thought to cost approximately $400 each machine.