Lauren Book bill would require feminine hygiene products in public school bathrooms
Lauren Book.

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The Learning with Dignity Act would require schools to feminine hygiene products in all female restrooms in public schools.

Sen. Lauren Book filed a bill last week that would require school districts to make feminine hygiene products are available in public school bathrooms.

SB 242, known as the “Learning with Dignity Act,” mandates schools have sanitary napkins, pads and tampons in female restrooms in all of Florida’s K-12 public schools. Under the bill, the products must be made available at no cost.

“One in five girls have either left school early or missed school entirely because they did not have access to menstrual products,” Book said, citing a recent survey. “Girls pay a price when these products aren’t free — and providing them will go a long way toward equity in education.”

The Plantation Democrat filed a similar bill last ahead of the 2020 Legislative Session, but it was never heard in committee. Rep. Michael Grieco, a Miami Beach Democrat, sponsored companion legislation that also went without a hearing.

A news release from Book’s office said women typically spend $150 to $300 a year on feminine hygiene products, which can put a financial strain on low-income students and their families.

The cost barrier particularly impacts the 23% of Florida children who live below the poverty line and 66% of public-school children who qualify for free or reduced-price school lunch.

The legislation is also similar to a bill signed into law by Gov. Ron DeSantis last year — the “Dignity for Incarcerated Women Act.” That law requires Florida jails and prisons to provide menstrual products to female inmates at no cost.

The new bill was announced alongside an endorsement from Ashley Eubanks of the Beauty Initiative, a South Florida-based nonprofit that has provided more than 400,000 feminine hygiene products to women and girls in need.

“A period should end a sentence; it shouldn’t end education,” she said. “Sen. Book’s Learning with Dignity bill will ensure hygiene is not a luxury for girls in Florida’s public schools.”

SB 242 is the latest effort in Book’s pro-women-and-girls legislative agenda.

Book is also sponsoring legislation to allow Medicaid coverage for donor breastmilk from milk banks (SB 240), extend Medicaid coverage for postpartum care (SB 238), and keep children safe from sexual predators (SB 234).

Drew Wilson

Drew Wilson covers legislative campaigns and fundraising for Florida Politics. He is a former editor at The Independent Florida Alligator and business correspondent at The Hollywood Reporter. Wilson, a University of Florida alumnus, covered the state economy and Legislature for LobbyTools and The Florida Current prior to joining Florida Politics.


3 comments

  • Robin E.

    December 14, 2020 at 3:47 pm

    What a BS political ploy by someone who has never held an honest job.

    The girls can bring their own products to school. If they can afford make-up, cell-phones, and I-Pads, they can afford these items.

  • Charlotte Greenbarg

    December 15, 2020 at 8:16 am

    Have there been any studies that show absenteeism is caused by not having these products, or that students have spent their money on non-essential items instead? Would the state fund this or would the schools be expected to?

  • Clownstotheleftjokerstotheright

    December 15, 2020 at 8:17 am

    “Girl’s bathrooms”? Wha? Shouldn’t they be in both bathrooms since gender is a social construct?

Comments are closed.


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