A group of Bend High School students used their voices to bring change to schools across the state.
“It was really empowering,” said Olive Nye, a Junior at Bend High School
Nye is one of two Bend High School students who advocated to the state regarding the Menstrual Dignity Act, a bill that would put free menstrual products in school bathrooms across Oregon.
“We both testified in front of the Oregon legislature, kind of sharing our thoughts on the project and why we think it was important,” Nye said.
The idea for supporting the bill came from a ‘Design Justice’ class where students work on projects focused around equity and sustainability.
Bringing period products to high schools across Oregon was a two-year effort from several different students.
Their voices were heard, and their assistance will be used to create a toolkit to lay-out the guidelines for the bill now that it passed.
“They do such a great job of advocating and sharing their voice. Their voices are so powerful it’s something we really try to instill in them that they have a lot of power if they’re willing to speak up and use it and lead,” said Matt Fox a Media Arts Teacher at Bend High School.
The products chosen by students to put in Bend High’s bathrooms are environmentally friendly and sustainable to continue their mission.
Before the bill, students had to get menstrual supplies from the school nurse or teacher.
Now, student advocacy has brought dignity and accessibility to those that need it.
“I think it was really important that we did have high school students because the bill is effecting us and as a menstruator, it’s something that I would have access to in my bathroom so I felt like it was really important to have student voices there,” Nye said.