School District 91 completes menstrual dispenser installation

One example of the two new styles of menstrual dispensers. (Submitted)

One example of the two new styles of menstrual dispensers. (Submitted)

After a brief, glitch, that prevented dispensers from being properly installed, free menstrual product dispensers should now be up in all School District 91 schools, according to SD 91 Assistant Superintendent Mike Skinner.

An order issued by the Ministry of Education on April 5, 2019, required all schools to provide free menstrual products for students in school washrooms by the end of 2019.

In issuing the order at the time, Education Minister Rob Fleming said it’s time to normalize and equalize access to menstrual products in schools, helping to create a better learning environment for students.

“Students should never have to miss school, extracurricular, sports or social activities because they can’t afford or don’t have access to menstrual products,” said Fleming, adding that current research indicates that one in seven students has missed school due to their periods because they cannot afford products.

“This is a common-sense step forward that is, frankly, long overdue. We look forward to working with school districts and communities to make sure students get the access they need with no stigma and no barriers.”

SD91 selected two styles of dispensers in early November and started installing them in the area. That process is now complete, according to Skinner.

Superintendent of Schools Mr. Manu Madhok commented, “We want to thank our staff for their time and effort on implementing this important initiative.”

According to the Ministry, the products must be available using delivery methods that are free of charge, protect privacy, are barrier-free and easily accessible, are consistent in delivery and availability and are non-stigmatizing.

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