Looking to the Future

February 14, 2023

While Pugh is thrilled with the student response to Tampon Tuesday, she is going to keep pushing for district-level action on the issue of period poverty in schools.

“We’re not going to stop trying. There’re a lot of similar programs like Tampon Tuesday that’ve popped up around the state so this issue has a lot of awareness,” Pugh said. “The Des Moines Register emailed me and I think a couple of other students about Tampon Tuesday, so the awareness is out there. And that’s the first step to actually being able to solve the problem and proving that having these products at our school are not posing any sort of issue.”

According to Pugh, City students have set a really good example of interacting with the products and fundraising for them.

“We are a really good example that students are not going to take these products and make fun of them or destroy them or throw them around,” Pugh said. “It was actually really awesome how respectful City High students were and how we all kind of came together to contribute. It’s a good way for students to come together on an issue that we all know is real, and we all can help.”

Pugh and Gidal are working together on next steps to garner district-level action on the issue. These next steps include mapping out spending and product use to create a cost per student estimate. According to Free the Tampon, an advocacy group that works to implement free period products at the state level, funding products for students would cost an estimated $5-$7 a year per student.

“We’re working to create a very detailed plan of how many tampons or pads we’re using each week, this is how much money we spend,” Pugh said. “[We’re working] to create something to present to the school board that’s very detailed and looks very doable because I think right now it looks kind of murky. Just like showing them that this is an inexpensive problem. It does not take much to supply these products. And if we can show them exactly how much we need, then I think they’re more likely to consider it.”

95% of survey respondents believe that getting funding from the ICCSD for products in City restrooms would be helpful. This sentiment is shared by Gidal. However, she also believes that organizations like Tampon Tuesday still would have a place at City to keep the discussion around periods alive.

“I think [funding from the district] would be very beneficial for making sure everyone gets what they need,” Gidal said. “I do think Tampon Tuesday is definitely necessary to keep periods talked about and the need for menstrual products talked about. Period poverty is real.”

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