By Adrianna Iorio, Editor in Chief
In January 2018, a California law was passed to make learning a comfortable experience on public school campuses. The law, initiated by assemblywoman Cristina Garcia, requires that public schools provide feminine products – for free – in bathrooms across California school districts. In the late summer of 2018, these machines were established in Kennedy bathrooms, and prior to this, feminine products on Kennedy’s campus weren’t easily accessible. Feminine products, such as pads or tampons, were primarily provided in the school nurse’s office or by teachers who kept them in their classrooms.
Despite these products being seen as something a woman “should always have on her,” it’s important to take into consideration that it’s not always a good students can afford. A box of tampons or pads can cost up to $7 to $10 – varying on size, brand, and type – and that doesn’t include the amount of product each woman uses. The machines established on Kennedy’s campus are convenient and free, but what was shocking to many female students was the fact that they didn’t work.
“I would be in desperate need of a product – of any kind – and the machines seemed to have some sort of malfunction,”an anonymous member of Class of 2020 told The Clarion. “I, alongside other students, resorted to sticking our arms up [the machines] and hitting just to get a tampon.”
The machines are provided by SCUSD while the products themselves are purchased by Kennedy’s janitorial staff through their budget. According to Kennedy plant manager James Hernandez, the janitors were unaware of the machine malfunctions, considering no one has informed them of the issue prior to The Clarion reaching out. Kennedy is a big school, and with only so many people on his staff James Hernandez encourages people to inform him or his staff if another situation like this occurs again.