Students will find feminine products in all restrooms at Superior High and Middle schools this school year. The Superior School Board at its Monday, Aug. 12, regular meeting approved a pilot program to provide the supplies.
Initial discussion the week before called for a dispenser machine in one restroom at each school. Board members instead asked that baskets of product be put in all bathrooms. That method has worked in La Crosse, Vice President Christina Kintop said. And, said board member Mike Meyer, it will focus funds on the product, not the dispensers.
A trio of Superior High School juniors — Satori Rekstad, Chayce Strauch and Maya Sickler — spoke in support of the move. They said that lack of feminine products is an issue for some of their peers.
“We are very much on board with having feminine products in the bathrooms,” said Sickler, co-president of the Amnesty International club at SHS. ‘Because when you are in poverty like that, it is really hard to get yourself to school and make yourself comfortable to learn without distraction.”
It’s more of a moral issue than a budget issue, she said.
“The only period a girl should worry about in school is her class period, not her menstrual cycle,” said Rekstad, president of the high school's Empower club.
The move was made to combat period poverty. Kintop told the Board that 1 in 5 female students will stay home because they don’t have the money or the means to get their hands on sanitary items.
While there are feminine products available at the nurse’s office in both buildings, having the items in bathrooms gets them closer to students. It also allows more privacy. Rekstad said students can just ask to go to the bathroom, instead of asking to go to the nurse’s office.
The students also spoke about the need for the school to recycle and cut down waste. Strauch, the other Amnesty International co-president, said they have formed a coalition and intend to continue to speak out on issues in front of the Board through the school year.
In other action, the district voted not to donate land next to Northern Lights Elementary School to Superior Water, Light & Power for a community solar garden.
Alternate sites north of the east soccer field at SHS and at Priest Field were explored, but there were clearance issues at the soccer field.
“It’s not really being responsible to the district if we start giving away our property,” Treasurer Robert Morehouse said.
“I think it needs to be fiscally responsible to the taxpayers in our city,” Kintop said. “If there’s any benefit to be reached from solar energy, it should go to the district.”