Where is the deodorant?
Being a teenager is enough of a challenge for anyone under the best of circumstances. However, imagine having to go to school without access to deodorant, soap or toothpaste.
Most of us take such items for granted, but there are undoubtedly some who are so poor that they lack access to such basic necessities.
So too is the case with girls who may struggle to access menstrual hygiene products. Wednesday, Gov. Chris Sununu signed Senate Bill 142 in an effort to alleviate this problem.
“SB 142 will help ensure young women in New Hampshire public schools will have the freedom to learn without disruption – and free of shame, or fear of stigma,” Sununu said. “This legislation is about equality and dignity.”
Specifically, the new law requires all New Hampshire public schools are to provide free feminine hygiene products in restrooms. The school district must do so at its own cost, though we doubt the price is something schools will struggle to afford.
The bill passed the Democratic-controlled Senate by a vote of 17-6 in February, while the heavily Democratic House approved the legislation by a tally of 211-135 in May. State Sen. Martha Hennessey, D-Hanover, served as the bill’s prime sponsor.
“Providing menstrual hygiene products in public school restrooms is long overdue. Cost and stigma can cause a lack of access to these products for New Hampshire students, which negatively impacts their productivity and attendance and makes it harder to focus on classes,” Hennessey said after Sununu signed the bill.
Our only problem with this new law is that it seems to discriminate against boys.
The proponents of SB 142 discussed how embarrassing it is for girls to be in a situation in which they lack access to feminine hygiene products. We have no doubt they are correct.
However, can you imagine being a teenage boy who has to go to school without access to deodorant? Gym class … and no deodorant!
Talk about embarrassing.
Therefore, we hope New Hampshire legislators will consider requiring school districts to provide products such as deodorant, soap and toothpaste in restrooms for both boys and girls. It seems only fair.