Virginia Senate Passes Bill Requiring Free Menstrual Supplies in Bathrooms, KHS Doesn’t Qualify


Sydney Haulenbeek, Editor in Chief

On Tuesday, January 21, the Virginia Senate unanimously passed a bill that would require all public schools meeting certain qualifications to include free menstrual products in bathrooms. 


This bill, Virginia Senate Bill 232, applies to schools that educate students from 5th to 12th grade and requires the school boards to make tampons and pads available at all times in the bathrooms with no cost to students. A stipulation to the bill specified that schools where 40% of the students qualified for free or reduced lunch are the ones that qualify under this bill.


This means that Kempsville High School, which has a reported 35% of the student body eligible for free or reduced lunches, doesn’t qualify, although free menstrual products are available in the nurse’s office. 


Exactly half of Kempsville’s student population of over 1,700 students is female students. 


One student, senior Shamira George, wishes that Kempsville High School would provide menstrual products more openly, and in the bathrooms, even if they’re not lawfully required to.


“[Including supplies in the] bathroom makes it less invasive because it’s the bathroom. Most people know what girls go to the nurse for, and they usually have to use a codeword or give a look to the teacher to tell them what they’re going for,” said George.


“Honestly, if it applied to our school, there would be a higher chance that people would use the supplies since they do not have to sign their name basically saying that they’re on their period,” George said. “Free products would be amazing, especially if you have no way for someone to bring you something if you were to start at school.”


Another bill, which strives to eliminate the “tampon tax,” or tax on menstrual products, was also introduced in this session by Senator Jennifer Boysko, who pushed through Senate Bill 232. She believes the House will pass the bill.