Administration Remedies Menstruation Woes


Jeanette Lee

Like many students, Nicole Lustig ’17 is pleased by the New York State Assembly’s strides to promote women’s equality.

In July of 2016, New York State officially eliminated the tampon tax. The state has also made efforts to provide free access to sanitary napkins and tampons in public schools and federal prisons. This legislation is far reaching – even hitting Bronx Science bathrooms.

On October 21st, 2016, female Bronx Science students were pleasantly surprised when they walked into school bathrooms and saw that tampon and maxi pad dispensers had been installed.

Before the installation, students throughout New York City did not have access to tampons and maxi pads in bathrooms. The more inconvenient alternative was to receive a free maxi pad from the school nurse. Students who menstruate resorted to carrying their own stash of feminine products. “If any girl needed a pad or tampon, they would just ask their friends,” said Nicola Lustig ’17.

A student uses the new machine in the second floor girls' bathroom to dispense a tampon
Eliana Chiovetta
A student uses the new machine in the second floor girls’ bathroom to dispense a tampon

The New York State Assembly has made strides to promote feminine equality, first lifting a tax on feminine hygiene products, then passing the law granting free access to tampons. These changes have many students feeling hopeful about making advances towards greater health and gender equality for women.

“It’s great that this law was passed because women should have access to feminine hygiene products in school bathrooms. It’s a basic right,” said Sophie Malki, ’17.

“Tampons are a necessity, especially for female student athletes,” said Allegra Berman, ’17.

With the new installation, students no longer have to rely on their friends’ supply of feminine products. Before there were tampon dispensers, students were frustrated at not being able to get these items within school bathrooms. “Students who can’t afford to pay for lunch received free or reduced lunch, and students who can’t afford to pay for standardized tests receive fee waivers. These things are seen as necessities, and there should be no difference with tampons, so I was delighted to see that the New York State Assembly took action on this issue” said Alexis Williams, ’17.

Students are delighted that the Bronx Science administration has heard and acknowledged the frustrations of its female student body. With the installation of tampon dispensers in the restrooms, female students now have quick and easy access to feminine hygiene products. With the new installation of tampon dispensers in each of its girls’ bathrooms, Bronx Science is now contributing to gender equality.