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California Forces Public Schools to Provide Free Menstrual Products in Male Bathrooms
Democrat Gov. Gavin Newsom signs laws aimed at students in grades 6-12
California is now forcing public schools to provide free menstrual products in male bathrooms.
Democrat Gov. Gavin Newsom has signed legislation that will require all of the state's public schools serving students in grades 6-12 to stock free menstrual products in restrooms.
By law, they now must be provided in women's bathrooms, all-gender bathrooms, and at least one men's bathroom.
"On or before the start of the 2022–23 school year, a public school, including a school operated by a school district, county office of education, or charter school, maintaining any combination of classes from grades 6 to 12, inclusive, shall stock the school's restrooms at all times with an adequate supply of menstrual products, available and accessible, free of cost, in all women's restrooms and all-gender restrooms, and in at least one men's restroom," the new legislation states.
The new law is part of the Menstrual Equity for All Act of 2021, which was signed by Newsom.
The legislation will also require the California State University and each community college district to offer free menstrual products in at least one location on every campus.
The legislation describes having access to such products as a fundamental "human right."
"California recognizes that access to menstrual products is a basic human right and is vital for ensuring the health, dignity, and full participation of all Californians in public life," the legislation declares.
"California has an interest in promoting gender equity, not only for women and girls, but also for transgender men, nonbinary, and gender nonconforming people who may also menstruate and experience inequities resulting from lack of access to menstrual products," the legislation also states.
The legislation also argues that menstruation occurs "among all genders."
It goes on the state that schools must "normalize" the idea of men menstruating.
"It is the intent of the Legislature that this act provide for the health, dignity, and safety of menstruating students at every socioeconomic level, normalize menstruation among all genders, and foster gender competency in California schools, colleges, and universities," the bill reads.
Currently, in California, public schools serving students in grades 6-12 from low-income families must supply free feminine hygiene products in at least half of all bathrooms.
"What we’re doing here in California is unprecedented in nature and scale, but it all comes back to providing California’s students with the best opportunities to learn, achieve, and succeed,” said Governor Newsom.
"We’re implementing the historic, transformative measures needed to help support our students’ health and wellbeing," he added.
"I am thankful and thrilled that there are bills, and now law, that will drive more resources and support to students,” State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond gushed.
"I thank both Governor Newsom and the Legislature for their work to bring these much-needed resources to our campuses,” State Board of Education President Linda Darling-Hammond added.