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13 Queens Schools To Get Free Tampon And Pad Dispensers

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March 14, 2016 Staff Report

Students at 25 Queens and Bronx schools will have free access to tampons and pads by the end of the month.

Council Member Julissa Ferreras-Copeland announced the new program at Newtown High School in Elmhurst Monday morning.

The 25 schools include Newtown and 12 others in Queens’ District 24, as well as 12 in District 9 in the Bronx.

The program will reach 11,600 girls in the two districts, which are in some of the most impoverished areas of the city, according to Ferreras-Copeland.

The Department of Education estimates initial costs for the installation and supplies to be approximately $160,000.

“Every young person should have their essential needs met in order to do well in school,” Ferreras-Copeland said. “Feminine hygiene products are as essential as toilet paper, helping women prevent health risks and fulfill their daily activities uninterrupted by nature.”

This announcement follows the installation of a dispenser at the High School for Arts and Business, located at 105-25 Horace Harding Expressway North, in September.

Attendance at the school increased from 90 percent to 92.4 percent since the installation of the free dispensers and fewer girls asked to be excused from their classes throughout the day, according to Ferreras-Copeland.

“Providing young women with pads and tampons in schools will help them stay focused on their learning and sends a message about value and respect for their bodies,” she said. “No young woman should face losing class time because she is too embarrassed to ask for, can’t afford or simply cannot access feminine hygiene products.”

Councilman Daniel Dromm, whose district covers part of School District 24, voiced his support for the installation of these dispensers.

“The provision of free feminine hygiene products in public schools is an important service to students who would otherwise not be able to afford them,” he said. “These free tampon and sanitary napkin dispensers will ensure that girls and young women avoid the discomfort and embarrassing situations that can get in the way of learning.”

Ferreras-Copeland, together with Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, is set to introduce legislation for free feminine hygiene products.

In addition, City Council will lobby Albany to join Maryland, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Minnesota and New Jersey to eliminate sales tax on feminine hygiene products, which are considered a medical device by the Food and Drug Administration. Items like prescription drugs, sunscreen and condoms are exempt from tax in New York State under the premise that they are essential to a person’s health.

A full list of Queens schools that will receive free hygiene products is below:

I.S. 5 – The Walter Crowley Intermediate School
I.S. 061 Leonardo Da Vinci
I.S. 077
I.S. 125 Thom J. McCann Woodside
Academy of Finance and Enterprise
High School of Applied Communication
Pan American International High School
Bard High School Early College Queens
Corona Arts and Sciences Academy
Newtown High School
Grover Cleveland High School
High School for Arts and Business
Queens Vocational and Technical High School

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