Announcing the Menstrual Dignity for Students Toolkit

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Oregon Department of Education - Oregon achieves - together

ODE Releases the Menstrual Dignity for Students Toolkit

Menstrual Dignity Toolkit Front Page Image

November 17, 2021 

Dear School and District Leaders, 

The Oregon Department of Education is pleased to share the Menstrual Dignity for Students Toolkit which outlines requirements and recommendations for districts as they implement the Menstrual Dignity Act of 2021 in a way that centers student equity and menstrual dignity. 

Students from across the state have shared their stories of shame, embarrassment, and academic distress due to lack of menstrual product access at school. Teachers and school staff have been finding that students often stay home while they are menstruating, to avoid being in school without menstrual products-- and that the stigma of menstruation shadows their understanding of their growth, development, and health. National research shows that one in four teens have missed class due to a lack of access to menstrual products and that one in five students has struggled to afford menstrual products. 

Providing free menstrual products within school bathrooms keeps students in school and learning. After the City of New York passed a law providing free menstrual products to students, participating schools saw a 2.4 percent increase in attendance. Additionally, giving students the space to ask questions and receive comprehensive, positive, and not fear- or shame-based classroom education on menstrual health works to shift school culture towards student empowerment, inclusivity, and support. 

With the passing of the Menstrual Dignity Act by the 2021 Oregon Legislature and Governor Brown, Oregon is the first state to have legislation requiring free menstrual products in every student bathroom in all schools. In order to honor the needs of all menstruating students and the districts who serve them, ODE has created this toolkit which provides information on the requirements of this law, equity-centric recommendations, and resources to consider when building district and school-wide implementation plans, teams, and when purchasing physical dispensers and products. 

Download the Toolkit


Lastly, the toolkit also includes a link to the 2021-22 Reimbursement Form, which is where districts should request reimbursement for allowable expenses, up to the allocated grant ceiling outlined in the funding calculator. Please review the Funding & Reimbursement section of the toolkit for funding considerations, information, and support. This form is also linked on the Menstrual Dignity For Students Program dropdown on Oregon Department of Education’s (ODE) Sexuality Education Resources page. 

For up to date information about the Menstrual Dignity for Students program, please visit the Menstrual Dignity For Students Program dropdown on Oregon Department of Education’s (ODE) Sexuality Education Resources page.

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