Oregon now requires public schools to provide feminine hygiene products in the boys bathrooms, and some parents are concerned.
The “Menstrual Dignity Act” was passed last year by the Democrat-controlled Oregon legislature and signed by Governor Kate Brown.
The law requires that all Oregon public schools provide free menstrual products like tampons and pads in boys and all-gender restrooms, as well as in girls restrooms by the end of the 2022-2023 school year. Menstrual products, as well as instructions on how to use them, will be placed in all school bathrooms, including at elementary schools.
“This act was passed last year without parental or taxpayer input and parents still haven’t been informed by the schools about what’s happening,” Kori Gilmore, a mom of two elementary school boys in the Medford School District, told local outlet KTVL.
“I really do not think this is appropriate,” Gilmore said. “It can bring up subjects that younger kids aren’t ready to discuss, and I do believe parents should have a say in what the school teaches.”
Gilmore added that she is aware of other parents who are just as upset as she is about the new menstrual product policy.
“In my opinion, I don’t feel like there is an appropriate age for this because boys cannot have periods and I really don’t think it’s healthy to teach our kids that they can,” she told the outlet.
At least one video posted on social media earlier this month claims to show a feminine hygiene product dispenser installed in the boys bathroom at an Oregon public school, the video panning from the urinals to the dispenser.
The Oregon Department of Education argues that the new law “affirms the right to menstrual dignity for transgender, intersex, non-binary and two spirit students.” One in four teens have missed class because they were unable to get menstrual products, according to the department.
However, the new policy goes beyond simply providing menstrual products for students. The education department’s “Menstrual Dignity for Students Toolkit” includes several eyebrow-raising recommendations, such as potentially teaching kindergartners about transgender hormone blockers.
“Integrate trans-specific puberty information in K-12 instruction,” reads one recommendation, which links to a resource on puberty blockers, which delay the onset of puberty in children with gender dysphoria.
“Increase awareness of two spirit people, of their historical standing in Tribal Nation communities as highly respected and honored people,” reads another recommendation.
Some social media users reacted with outrage.
“I and many Oregonian women find your Menstrual Dignity Act an affront to women,” one Twitter user said. “Only females can menstruate. Only females should be in the female restroom, and only males should be in the male restroom.”
“Has anyone considered the trauma girls will experience when boys run up & down hallways, waving tampons & pantomiming insertion?” another remarked. “Ridiculing girls at their most vulnerable is NOT dignity.”
A Republican gubernatorial candidate ripped the law as well.
“This is an absolute implosion of the family; it’s a violation of the family,” Bridget Barton, a Republican running for Oregon governor, told Fox News in reference to the law.
“‘Complaints’ doesn’t even begin to describe it,” she said about what she’s hearing from parents about the menstrual products policy.
“A lot of them haven’t even heard yet about all this background stuff that the teachers are going to be forced to teach in sex ed classes, in health classes. I’m hearing from parents everywhere who say it’s almost beyond belief,” Barton said.
Barton said she has already filed a legal appeal against the law.
Oregon is not the first state to start providing feminine hygiene products in boys bathrooms at school. In August, Illinois passed a similar bill to make the free products available in both boys and girls bathrooms from grades 4 to 12.