Abbotsford’s top educator is welcoming the province’s mandating free tampons and pads in school washrooms, while admitting the action is likely long overdue.
The B.C. government recently announced it would be mandating that all school districts stock free menstrual products in school washrooms, following a New Westminster School District initiative to do the same.
The New Westminster initiative was the first in the province, while similarly the provincial directive is the first in the country.
The News asked Kevin Godden – superintendent of the Abbotsford school district – last month whether the district intended to follow suit, after New Westminster schools took on its initiative in late February. At the time, Godden said he hadn’t heard about the New Westminster initiative and would look into it.
This week, however, Godden said he welcomed the provincial directive.
“I think it’s right,” he said.
“It’s one of those things where systems that you just take for granted, and then somebody points it out to you and after you think about it, you realize, ‘Yeah, it is about time; should have been done quite a while ago.’ ”
Godden noted that the school district would have menstrual products freely available to students in physical education class and counselling centres, but acknowledged that having to ask for the products can be a barrier for some students.
“That’s the beauty about learning, right? Somebody pointed this out to us and we’ve acted very quickly and decisively,” Godden said.
Godden said the school district will be bringing a policy change to a committee in the near future, and following that, to school board.