Florida schools can provide free period products for girls

Schools can now supply free period products for students
Published: Jul. 28, 2023 at 8:52 PM EDT
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV/Gray Florida Capital Bureau) - When students return to class in just a few weeks, they may find a new resource in the bathroom.

Schools across Florida are now allowed to provide free menstrual products to students.

The state legislature unanimously set the standards schools need to follow during this year’s legislative session.

The National Organization for Women says women spend an average of $20 a month on feminine hygiene products.

“Many people have to deal with choosing should they get lunch or products,” said The Girl Flo Project founder Amaya Waymon.

Waymon started the Girl Flo Project three years ago to get free period products in Leon County Schools.

Now, dispensers with free tampons and pads are in every middle and high school girls’ restroom. Products are also available in elementary school offices.

“I’ve had many friends and even myself where there were times where I didn’t have these products and thought what should I do?” said Waymon.

“This is something we knew it was the right thing to do. So we got together with people to make this happen,” Leon County Schools deputy superintendent Michelle Gayle said.

Gayle said the district felt it was essential to offer these products to students.

“This takes away all the stigma. They’re in the bathrooms. You can get them, we have the receptacles for them. We have the bags so they can dispose of them properly. We just removed all barriers,” Gayle said.

She said for her, it’s all about setting every student up for success.

“When you look at the statistics, behind young ladies who may not have feminine hygiene products, so they end up not coming to school,” Gayle said.

Gayle said other counties have contacted Leon County schools to implement a similar program, which means a lot to Waymon.

“We’re able to now know it’s ok these products can be in school means a lot,” Waymon.

Leon County Schools said it will start including menstrual products in the budget like soap and paper towels.

The law doesn’t require schools to offer menstrual products in restrooms, just says they’re allowed.

There are 18 states that do require them in schools.