DORI MONSON

Dori: Students with newest iPhones can afford menstrual products

Jan 15, 2020, 1:42 PM | Updated: 2:43 pm
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(AP)
(AP)

The Legislature is in session, and one of the first things that has been introduced is a bill to have you and I pay for other people’s kids even more so — in the form of menstrual products.

Senate Bill 6073 would mandate that every public school in the state that has students between sixth and 12th grades must provide free menstrual products in every female or gender-neutral bathroom because not all students can afford them.

The schools will have to put in machines in each restroom that dispense sanitary napkins or tampons. They say it will be for student-use only. How will they regulate that? How will they stop a student bringing home a few extra for their mom or sister?

Could I offer one amendment, if anyone in the Senate is listening? If the kid has an iPhone 5 or newer, how about you and I don’t have to pay for their feminine hygiene products? If those kids can afford whatever the monthly plan is on the phone, or if their parents always buy them the latest upgrade because “Jennifer got the newest model, so now I need one,” then they can probably afford to get their own hygiene products. If their dad makes $200,000 a year at Amazon, we don’t need to be subsidizing their menstrual products.

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How about instead of giving menstrual products to all kids, the schools just provide them to the kids who truly need them? Have a provision that if a student is truly destitute, she can go to the school office or nurse’s office and get the hygiene items she needs. If you’re walking around with a 7-year-old phone in your pocket, then maybe you’re somewhat frugal or very much in need.

Additionally, there are many agencies and nonprofits out there that will provide products like this to students who cannot afford them. Often times, these organizations are within walking distance of the school. I am alright with we the taxpayers providing these things for the truly needy. But a girl at Mercer Island High School should not be walking into the bathroom with her iPhone 11 grabbing free products that the taxpayers bought.

So that’s my amendment to this bill — you must have a 7-year-old or older phone to qualify for free menstrual products from the taxpayers. It’s an old-fashioned concept, but I think people who are able to should take care of their own kids. See how much money I’m going to save you this Legislative session?

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Dori: Students with newest iPhones can afford menstrual products