Conservatives are seeing red over a new Oregon law that requires menstrual products to also be offered inside boys’ bathrooms in the state’s public schools.
In July 2021, Democratic Gov. Kate Brown signed the controversial “Menstrual Dignity Act,” which requires all K-12 schools to provide free sanitary products to students, along with instructions on their use.
“Starting next year (2022-2023), products will be available in all restrooms (male, female and all-gender) in every PPS building where education occurs,” the Portland school district said in a 2021 statement.
“To ensure timely compliance, PPS ordered 500 dispensers. Dispensers have been installed in all elementary and middle school girls’ restrooms, and more will be installed in all remaining bathrooms, including boys’ restrooms, next year,” the statement claims.
“Instructions on how to use tampons and pads will be posted in all bathrooms,” the statement added.
The Beaver State’s district also encouraged parents to talk to their kids about reducing the “shame and stigma” surrounding getting their periods, according to the network.
In March, the state Education Department also issued a “Menstrual Dignity for Students” tool kit containing instructions on how to use menstrual products and tips for “menstruation-positive” language for families.
“Importantly, [the Menstrual Dignity Act] affirms the right to menstrual dignity for transgender, intersex, nonbinary, and two spirit students by addressing the challenges that some students have managing menstruation while minimizing negative attention that could put them at risk of harm and navigating experiences of gender dysphoria during menstruation,” part of the kit’s introduction read.
“Research also connects gender-affirming bathroom access to supporting student safety at school,” it added.
Meanwhile, a video posted by the Libs of TikTok apparently shows a tampon dispenser inside a boys’ bathroom.
The new law has incurred the wrath of Republicans, including Oregon gubernatorial candidate and conservative writer Bridget Barton, who slammed Brown.
“Has anyone considered the trauma girls will experience when boys run up & down hallways, waving tampons & pantomiming insertion?” a Twitter user reportedly wrote.
“Ridiculing girls at their most vulnerable is NOT dignity,” the user added.
Marc Siegel, a spokesman for the Oregon Department of Education, told The Post that “the intention is that all students have an understanding of menstruation as a positive part of human development, without shame or stigma.”
The goal of the legislation “is that all menstruating students have the right to access the products that they need, whenever they need them. This is important for everyone, so that all students, including those who are transgender, intersex, non-binary, or two spirit, in all grades, can access their education without barriers,” he said in an email Friday.
The tool kit “centers on inclusivity, education, and privacy so that all menstruating students have access to dignified self care. It provides best practices for staff engagement, student and community engagement, as well as resources for providing menstrual health education that is positive, celebratory, and not shame based,” Siegel added.