House committee approves bill for menstrual products in schools
MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - A bill to require schools to make period products free and available is once again making its way through the Statehouse after the pandemic stopped the movement of this bill during the 2020 legislative session.
The bill passed a committee where it had overwhelming support. It also got support support from 14-year-old twins Brooke and Breanna Bennett. They co-founded the non-profit Women In Training that provides hygiene products for girls all across the state.
“When we saw the girls go into my mom’s classroom and ask for menstrual products, we would ask my mom, ‘Why do they need these? Don’t they already have these?’” said Brooke Bennett.
The twins created Women In Training when they were just 12 years old.
“With Women In Training, we donate WITKITS to girls in need that include hygiene products, soap, conditioner, shampoo and then the menstrual products to go with it,” said Breanna Bennett.
The sisters worked with bill sponsor Rep. Rolanda Hollis on the legislation, who called the twins “sheroes.’
“They motivated me to do the bill,” said Hollis.
The girls and Hollis were motivated by the bigger picture that one in four girls skip school or work because they can’t afford pads or tampons to stay clean during their period.
“These girls, they’re so appreciative of the products,” said Breanna Bennett. “To me, you shouldn’t have to feel appreciative of something that you should already have to remain healthy and clean.”
The bill would create a $200,000 grant program through the state department of education so schools are able to supply these products.
“Every year they could request funds so that these products could be free to our girls within the schools,” said Hollis.
There could be an amendment added that would change the location of the products in the bill from just sitting on the bathroom counter to being distributed by a school nurse or counselor.
The bill moves to the House floor.
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