Local teen presents “Period Poverty” bill to Assembly Education Committee
RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - Sixteen-year-old Samantha Glover explained the bill she brought to lawmakers’ attention last December.
AB 224 hopes to abolish what is called “Period Poverty” by requiring free menstrual products at public high schools and middle schools in Nevada.
“There are no schools in Nevada which offer free menstrual products inside school bathrooms which is really crucial, which is why AB 224 is really crucial,” Glover told the Assembly Committee on Education.
Glover started her own non-profit here in Reno, and collects menstrual products, packages them, and distributes them to homeless shelters, and camps in the Truckee Meadows.
She testified one in three families has trouble paying for and supplying menstrual products on a monthly basis. That means, she says, missed school days for students who are too embarrassed to attend class.
AB 224 requires schools to assess the problem of period poverty at their facilities and come up with a method to address that problem for the thousands of students in our state.
“I am sure the teachers appreciate the fact that you are bringing up legislation that would take away another thing that our teachers are paying for out of pocket to provide for their students,” said Assemblywoman Rochelle Nguyen a Democrat from District 10 in Clark County to Glover.
While Glover’s presentation was succinct, professional, and well researched, it was bolstered by testimony in favor of the bill, surprisingly by young men who have helped female friends caught in embarrassing situations.
“Not expecting resistance, I was shocked and angered when he joked and quipped, that she shouldn’t have come if she wasn’t feeling well, and had inconvenienced the class,” testified Akaash Krishnan explaining how a P.E. teacher reacted when his friend started her period unexpectedly during a gym class.
Those opposed to the bill were from Nevada’s two largest school districts who testified they tried providing free menstrual products to students in the past. But they said, not all students are as mature as Glover.
“Past experience with these products being used to destroy school property costing hundreds of thousands in plumbing damage,” Lindsay Anderson from Washoe County School District. Anderson said the bill amounted to an unfunded mandate, which in turn would take money away from hiring and paying teachers as well as supplies needed by students.
The Assembly Committee on Education took no action Tuesday on Assembly Bill 224. We will keep you updated on its progress through the legislature.
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