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Standing Up for my Daughter & Other Girls

Posted by on Oct. 11, 2017 at 9:40 AM
  • 8 Replies

When my youngest daughter started her period this year as a 4th grader I expected it might be a little extra challenging because of her age, but had not considered what all this might mean.

This is where the school bathroom situation entered in.  She attends a public elementary school that includes K-5.  There are no trash bins inside the stalls in the girls bathrooms throughout the school. 

I met with the school nurse as I knew my daughter could not be the only girl in her school who was menstruating. The nurse was understanding and explained that far more girls have periods than just about anyone realizes, and agreed the ideal set up would be to have a bin in every girl's stall throughout the school.

When she arrived at the school 3 years ago she learned in the past girls had been told they could go to the nurse to deal with changing their period products and use a private bathroom.  That system didn't work out well and was embarrasing for the girls. It was used by so many girls she was able to get them to add bins in the 5th grade girls bathroom her 2nd year. Last year they added one bin just in the handicapped stall in the bathroom that is between the cafeteria and gym.  

Thanks to my persistence and her willingness to draw a few other Moms into the conversation we now have some movement.  The school installed bins in the handicapped stalls only for all girls restrooms throughout the school.

We really pushed for them to add them in all stalls or at least all stalls for the upper grades.  The nurse is so positive she thanked us and feels sure in the future that will happen since this progress has been gradual.  

Today is International Day of the Girl - a day set aside to combat issues of gender discrimination and inequality.  While I am thankful for progress, I am frustrated that I now must tell my 4th grader that her period is not a handicap! Menstruation is a natural, normal and healthy part of growing up and should not require her or any girl to be singled out, asked to use a special bathroom or to wait and use a handicapped stall.

Every girl won't get her period in elementary school, but many will.  Please join me in standing up for them and doing what you can to help ensure your local elementary school doesn't engage in practices that discrimiinate or make this more challenging than it should be.

If you don't know what your child's elementary school setup is, please learn. It could end up helping so many girls in the future.

by on Oct. 11, 2017 at 9:40 AM
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Replies (1-8):
by on Oct. 11, 2017 at 9:52 AM
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My daughter's 12 in 7th grade and just started. I expect someone to be mean to her because she has ADHD and I'm not quite sure (despite several conversations in the last 2 years) that she knows what to expect/do. She swims on the Modified swim team at her school and has already learned that girls can be mean when girls from an opposing team called her the R word in the locker room because she'd been acting babyish during the practice time prior to the meet at her school.
by on Oct. 12, 2017 at 10:27 PM
1 mom liked this

Oh wow! I'm so thankful your daughter has somebody like you as her mom!!! I am definitly going to ask if any of my nieces are coming across this issue! 

by Bronze Member on Oct. 16, 2017 at 2:25 PM
I didn't start until jr high so I never even thought about this. It's great you were persistent and accomplished this!
by Platinum Member on Oct. 17, 2017 at 9:58 AM

My daughter started early as well ... she was 11 years old and yes it is such a cause of embarassment for them.  At first my daughter refused to change her pad at school, I had to buy her those overnight pads that she could wear safely for 8 hours and finally now, 2 years later I think she finally has learned to live with it and she actually brings pads to school.

by Platinum Member on Oct. 17, 2017 at 9:59 AM

oh and good for you for making a thing at the school ... I mean how complicated is it to get trash bins in bathrooms ???  Worst case they could just get stand alone bins in each stall

by New Member on Oct. 17, 2017 at 7:33 PM
I started in fourth grade and hated with a passion having to wait till everyone was either out of the bathroom to throw away in the gagabe wich was one can in the whole bathroom so good for you for standing up .. right on👍I’m sure so many young ladies are happy now.
by Member on Oct. 21, 2017 at 7:01 PM
1 mom liked this
You know, I never thought about this..I usually changed my pad and threw it in the garbage outside near where we put paper towels..I never really got embarrassed unless it bled through. I was 10 and I had/have extremely heavy periods. but it is a good idea..I will definitely check into it when my daughter is in elementary school. Thank you.
by on Oct. 24, 2017 at 4:02 AM
It is a good idea. I never even thought to look at my kids' elementary school. I started young too, the summer between 4th and 5th grade. I can't really remember if we had garbage bins in stalls then, but I don't think we did. My oldest just started last month, and she's 12 and in 7th grade. My next girl is only two right now, so I have a while yet before she starts, lol.
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