Student Provides Feminine Products for High School Bathroom
Natalie Baumeister’s frustrations were long-running, stretching back to middle school.
Machines that were supposed to dispense sanitary pads and tampons in the restrooms at her Northern Virginia middle school were hardly ever stocked. Then, when she arrived at Justice High School, young women who needed pads had to retrieve them from the school health clinic, a potentially embarrassing and inconvenient exercise.
“The taboo kind of stems from centuries of sexism,” the 18-year-old said. “It’s a natural bodily function and we need to end the stigma.”
As one of her first orders of business this year as president of Justice High’s Girl Up chapter, an international club devoted to gender equality, Baumeister led an effort to outfit girls’ restrooms with feminine hygiene products.
The project at the Falls Church, Va., high school unfolded as efforts to increase access to women’s menstrual products, fueled by grass-roots activism, have attracted political attention from lawmakers across the country.
One November afternoon, a few dozen Justice students assembled, stocked and placed plastic drawers containing pads in girl’s restrooms. They affixed signs to the bins encouraging young women to “take what you need.” Club members are responsible for restocking the bins.
By Debbie Truong at the Washington Post