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Free Tampons Available in NY Schools



Free feminine hygiene items are being put in school bathrooms for girls across the state after New York mandated it.


Bathrooms will be stocked with tampons and a student won't need to obtain permission to grab one. The feminine hygiene products will be available in all bathrooms that serve sixth- to 12th-graders.


"All products shall be provided at no charge to students," effective July 1, according to the law.


Gov. Andrew Cuomo pushed for the unfunded mandate as part of the 2018 Women's Agenda for New York that seeks to empower women, close the gender gap in STEM, provide mentoring and ensure access to pads and tampons in public schools.


Startup costs from school budgets

The startup costs for having dispensers in bathrooms are thousands of dollars for local school districts.


The upkeep cost implications won't be known until the machines are being used by the students, said Gates Chili Superintendent Kimberle Ward.


Districts will need to find the money in their budgets this year to comply, Laural Heiden, a spokesperson for Greece Central School District, explained. Greece has spent $8,700 on the purchase of dispensers alone, Heiden said.


Webster Central School District spent about the same. Webster purchased 24 feminine hygiene product dispensers totaling about $8,800.


Webster's student bathrooms, locker rooms, the aquatic center and stadium bathrooms, will all have dispensers, according to Krista Grose, Webster's public relations coordinator.


An additional 10 dispensers will be ordered once the district evaluates usage levels of the 24 dispensers, Grose said.


Meghan Finnerty, Rochester Democrat and Chronicle

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