OLYMPIA—For decades, menstruating students have missed class time because they didn’t have access to period products, or couldn’t afford to buy them at all.
“Poverty and period poverty go hand-in-glove,” said Rep. April Berg (D-Mill Creek). “More than four in five students have missed class time, or know someone who has, because they didn’t have access to period products. This is holding students back in school, which affects their future. And we needed to do something to fix it.”
Berg wrote House Bill 1273 to provide period products in public school bathrooms, just like toilet paper is provided.
“This is also a health issue for our students,” Berg said. “Sixty-one percent of students have worn a tampon or pad for more than four hours because they did not have enough access to period products. That puts them at risk of infection and toxic-shock syndrome.”
The bill passed the House of Representatives 85-12 and the Senate 43-5. It was signed by Gov. Jay Inslee and takes effect July 25.