Period Equality at Lakota West


Ashlyn Roehm

Writing college essays, doing homework, participating in extracurriculars, working a part-time job, having the “high school experience”, finding that special someone, managing friend drama, raising ACT scores, improving class rank, finishing college applications, maintaining good mental health — the list just continues. 

High school consists of various stressors, yet one thing a student shouldn’t have to worry about is their access to menstruation products. It can be challenging for young women to be appropriately prepared for “that time of the month” as young high school bodies are not often that regulate TO a “time of the month.”  It is stressful and embarrassing to be caught unaware.

Lakota West carries a very limited and undiversified supply of menstruation products outside the nurse’s office.  West should begin providing free tampons and pads in the bathrooms, so that students have access to them without having to go to the clinic. No one wants to risk bleeding through on their way to get appropriate supplies. In fact, 37 states are now introducing bills to require public schools to do just this. (Ohio is NOT one.)  West could take the lead and do the right thing by our female students.

Some West students feel that  “the school can only be responsible for so much,” noting how expensive period items can be. However, most students expressed “the need for normalizing heavier period products being provided at school” and “giving all students access to products that they need to live a comfortable life.” For high schoolers who suffer from financial insecurities, having access to menstrual items during the school day is crucial.  

We provide soap and toilet paper for all students —  and for all students, especially for the students who may have an unexpected cycle or accident, it is important that bathrooms supply options for every person who may need it.