HB20-1131, Supporting the AWest Period Project

My name is Jonna Levine.  I am Co-chair/Co-founder of Support Jeffco Kids.  Our focus is on the importance of supporting public education for ALL 86,000 plus kids in Jeffco, the 2nd largest school district in the state.

We support House Bill 20-1131, and wish to thank Representative Titone for stepping up  to support our Arvada West students in their efforts to bring about this important change in our schools.

We hear a lot about Equity today when we talk about public education.

  • According to Wikipedia, “Equity in education means that personal or social circumstances such as gender, ethnic origin or family background are not obstacles to achieving educational potential and that all individuals reach at least a basic minimum level of skills.
  • For many, Equity means Equal opportunity for success.
  • The Dictionary definition of equity is:  “Justice according to natural law or right; freedom from bias or favoritism.”

When a young person’s opportunity to succeed or achieve their educational potential is obstructed because they’ve had no other option but to miss either school or classes due to the lack of access to feminine products in school – especially when they have the additional challenge of poverty or homelessness –  it’s an issue of equity and bias.

Half of the world’s population copes with menstruation.  In 2015, feminine products were a $2 Billion industry in the U.S., yet for those who live in poverty, lack of menstrual health care is a serious problem. Poor menstrual hygiene can be linked to cervical cancer in India, and in developing countries, infections caused by filthy, unwashed rags are rampant.  Here in the U.S., “women who are homeless or incarcerated face similar risks when they can’t access or afford sanitary products.  Women have even been known to trade food stamps for tampons.”

We have many equity challenges in our public schools in Colorado.  Access to feminine products for our students in high school, junior high school, or middle school may only be one small portion, but House Bill 1131 does provide an opportunity to at least begin to fix a misjustice our young students face.

We strongly urge you to support House Bill 1131 today.

Thank you