It's been three years in the making but when young women speak up, we WIN! Congratulations to the IGNITE women of Skyline High School of Dallas ISD for their successful advocacy efforts in bringing free menstrual hygiene products to their school and - following a trial - hopefully all DISD schools!
In the words of IGNITE Facilitator Brooke López:
"Tonight, the Ignite National students at Skyline High School (Dallas) christened newly installed dispensers with free menstrual hygiene products that they have dedicated YEARS of advocacy to provide. I was able to guide them over the past three years through lengthy proposals, countless presentations, and tough conversations. Our journey to bring free menstrual products to ALL students has only just begun -- but this is a milestone worth celebrating."
Over the years, these students flexed their political power and put in the work to make this a reality. The process began with a pitch to former DISD Trustee Bernadette Nutall. Next the students worked with the Director of Facility Services to document all restrooms, calculate usage rates, prioritize the restrooms based on traffic, and analyze data regarding DISD's number of low-income female-identifying students (i.e. menstruators).
Students focused their efforts on campuses that have a greater need for products. They were granted a pilot program for the initiative last Spring. While working out the details of the pilot, they continued advocating the cause to trustees until they found trustees, like Karla Garcia, Dallas ISD District 4 Trustee, who were interested in presenting the results from the pilot program to the district for a budgetary amendment.
DISD has officially initiated the menstrual equity pilot program at Skyline to gather more research before proposing it districtwide next Spring. Ultimately, IGNITE young women want to see DISD provide menstrual equity to all high schools and middle schools in district by providing free tampons and pads to students.
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