The Period Problem

Schools to provide free, high-quality period products to help decrease the stigma surrounding periods


Kenna McBean

8 of 9 bathrooms checked by the TFS staff had no period products.

Kenna McBean, Staff Writer

Period products are a basic human right. 

When they aren’t available, it can make life a lot more difficult for people who need them. Period poverty is an issue facing our country at this moment. 2.5 million women live in poverty, and food stamps do not cover menstrual products. Sometimes, the only place a teenager can get period products is through their school. 

So, at the very least, schools should have them in constant supply.  Unfortunately, this is not the case – even at LFHS. 

For the first few weeks of school, period products were out of stock in eight of the girls bathrooms across the building. They were just recently restocked, but how confident should we be that they will be restocked in a timely manner in the future?

People overlook women’s issues, and that makes me feel really disappointed. I just feel very unseen.”

— Junior Grace Thomas

Besides it being inconvenient, Illinois is one of three states (along with California and New York) that require schools supply their students with free period products. If the comfort of students with periods is not enough, shouldn’t a law be plenty of motivation to properly supply products?

These oversights do not go unnoticed by some students.

“Our hygiene is not being prioritized. People overlook women’s issues, and that makes me feel really disappointed. I just feel very unseen,” junior Grace Thomas said.

Furthermore, the quality of the products provided at the school is low. For people with periods, having high-quality products is essential to feel comfortable and safe throughout the day.

Providing access to high-quality period products can also help reduce the stigma surrounding periods.

In countries around the world, periods are considered dirty and disgraceful. However, normal bodily functions are nothing to be ashamed of, but they can be inconvenient when they do not have the proper tools to deal with them. Society has conditioned people to believe that periods are something to hide when in reality, it is society that needs to reevaluate its inherent thoughts. 

“There are people that actually need that stuff,” junior Sofia Davis said. “It makes me frustrated. This shouldn’t be an issue facing people today. The school needs to take the initiative.”