State Rep. Mike Grieco, D-Miami Beach, is championing a proposal to mandate tampons and sanitary napkins in public middle and high schools across Florida.
On Monday, when he showcased the proposal, Grieco insisted his bill could be done at no taxpayer costs.
“School districts can partner with non-profits or community-based organizations to make these products available,” his office insisted before laying out the importance of the proposal.=
“One out of every five children in Florida lives below the poverty line and the costs of feminine products stack up. No young woman should have to compromise going to school or sacrifice their dignity or their health because she cannot afford access to these products,” Grieco’s office noted.
“Providing menstrual hygiene products in public school restrooms is long overdue,” Grieco said on Monday. “Research from the World Bank demonstrates that girls’ inability to manage their menstrual hygiene in school results in absenteeism, which in turn has severe economic costs on their lives. Stigma and a lack of access to feminine hygiene products negatively impacts teen girls who miss valuable class time—sometimes days—because the items they need are not readily available. Being an adolescent middle or high-schooler is hard enough without the fear and embarrassment of lacking proper care products during the school day because you cannot afford them. By providing free menstrual products in school bathrooms, we are removing barriers for some of our most vulnerable girls, helping them feel more confident and ensuring they spend more time in school.”
The freshman Democrat noted that several other states have adopted similar proposals including New Hampshire, New York, Tennessee and Illinois.
Grieco filed the bill on Monday. So far, there is no companion measure over in the Florida Senate.
Reach Kevin Derby at firstname.lastname@example.org.