This fall, Boston Public Schools will be offering free menstrual supplies to every school in the district that teaches 6th through 12th graders. The BPS pilot program is being launched in an attempt to support girls who get their periods in school and cannot afford supplies.
A survey by Always, a feminine hygiene brand, found that one in five girls have either left school early or missed school entirely for lack of access to period products. Lacking access to a pad or a tampon, girls who have their periods chose either to go home or to stay home. That choice has far reaching consequences for the individual and for society, leading to missed days of school, poor grades and a generally poorer education.
With all the pressures that face our adolescents, the issue of period poverty should not become an additional stressor. We often think about this as an international issue, but the United States is not immune to period poverty and fortunately the solution is relatively straightforward.
We laud the Boston Public Schools for taking steps to resolve this issue and for their focus on keeping pubescent and post-pubescent girls in school. Let’s take just one hurdle out of the way, and help female students make the most of their education.
Thank you to Boston Public Schools for leading the way.