YLHS Providing Free Menstrual Supplies in Girls’ Bathrooms – How Will This Affect Future Generations?


Milo Martinson

Big changes are happening in Yorba Linda High School’s bathrooms, especially with a tampon and pad dispenser in the lady’s room!

Milo Martinson, Photojournalist

The argument of menstrual supplies being free in public restrooms has been debated for years, and Yorba Linda High School is showing its results. On September 9th, 2021, California passed a bill requiring free menstrual products in grades 6-12; a big step for the women’s rights movement (womensvoices.org). School districts have been slowly working toward affordable ways to make this bill a reality, and Yorba Linda High School has just fulfilled its end of the deal. New pad/tampon dispensers have been installed in the girl’s bathrooms on campus, making them easily accessible to all students. Beforehand, students would have to stop by the nurse’s office to ask for the supplies they needed, doubling the time of an average bathroom trip and potentially hurting their academic standing. Students can continue their day comfortably with the necessary products they need. While this could be an excellent addition to our school’s community, will students abuse these amenities? If so, how long will the school fund the immaturity of the irresponsible use of such products?

It’s no secret that high school students can be very mature… or they can be the opposite. Women everywhere have been fighting for the ability to have menstrual products readily available to students for years, but will their efforts be in vain now that the goal has finally been achieved? While I think menstrual products should be provided free of charge to everyone, I also acknowledge that a certain level of maturity must be present to appreciate it fully. “I walked into the bathroom and someone just covered the entire wall with period pads… It was really discouraging to see people be so immature!” Jessica Vargas (11) shares, revealing the intensity of this issue. Hearing the increase in bathroom messes since these dispensers have been installed, it’s hard for staff members to think of an effective solution. You can provide the materials needed for success but cannot control what a person will do with them. When students abuse these products, not only will it directly affect our campus, but it will also affect how the next generation grows up in the school system. 

I walked into the bathroom and someone just covered the entire wall with period pads… It was really discouraging to see people be so immature!

— Jessica Vargas (10)

Having these supplies in schools is essential to students’ well-being. Menstrual cycles are usually known for giving you a little surprise appearance when you’re least expecting it, and not all of us are fortunate enough to have a pad or tampon ready in our backpacks at all times. The fact that school systems are finally considering this the new normal is tremendous. Hailey Whitehurst (10) is a student here at YLHS, as well as last year’s Miss Placentia’s Outstanding Teen. “I think it’s nice that they thought to put them in the bathrooms, especially for free, but it frustrates me that students aren’t using them for their intended purpose and throwing them away or just playing with them,” she states, referencing both sides of the issue. While having a school board hear our struggles and see our needs being met, how long will the mistreatment of school equipment be allowed to continue?

Students at Yorba Linda High School are getting the opportunity to cultivate a better future for the PYLUSD community. The ability to be heard by the school district and to see change happen as a result is something that not many students get to see within their schools. Although the district probably knew the amenities wouldn’t always be used wisely, we were trusted with this opportunity to make our schools feel more inclusive. Our responsibility is to make our community a better place, for ourselves and the generations who will come after us. How we interact with our resources now will directly affect what resources are available for future students. Let’s work together to make our school environment more comfortable and safe, especially in the bathrooms.