Freshmen take action to stock the bathroom with feminine products


Jack Embery

Lana Kahtava, Marianna Jackson, and Gretchen Beckmann are proud of the positive changes they have made for those who deal with monthly menstrual cycles. If you would like to contribute to this project, please contact Ms. Conrad or one of these young activists.

By Jack Embery, Manitou Springs High School

Gretchen Beckmann (9), Lana Kahtava (9) and Marianna Jackson (9), decided to take up a cause important to them. They took the initiative to create a solution by stocking feminine products within the girls’ bathroom in the Commons.

Anna Conrad, the assistant principal at MSHS, said, “two or three weeks ago, a group of freshmen girls approached me about providing feminine products in the bathroom to ensure that students not only have access to these products but also to break down the barrier of discomfort around advocating for yourself when you’re in a compromised scenario.”

It can be a source of stress for students when they start their menstrual cycles on campus without the necessary supplies. 

“The only places we can go to get these products is either from the nurses or from a male teacher and it’s a personal issue. I don’t really want to go talk to an adult [or a] male [to talk] about it,” Jackson said. 

The students shared that as they traveled to other schools for volleyball games and saw feminine product dispensers in the bathroom. Seeing this idea, they thought it was beneficial to contact an administrator at MSHS to get this idea implemented. 

“We first all noticed that our school doesn’t have these dispensers in the bathroom at all,” Beckmann said. After talking to Conrad, the girls were able to implement their idea, said Kahtava.  

“[The girls] identified that this was a disconnect in terms of what was provided to students. They knew that both a teacher and the nurse had these products, but that sometimes students felt uncomfortable and/or didn’t have time to get them. So they wanted to make sure that kids were supported, felt safe and also eliminate some of the stigma around feminine products because students need them and that’s just a fact,” Conrad said. 

Now that the students have taken the initiative to get these essential items put into bathrooms, they hope to expand this project; they want to have more products in all of the bathrooms in the school (an increase from the current one bathroom.) 

There are many ways to help this vital cause. “We would love it if anyone is willing to donate, whether it’s products of varying forms, either to myself or to Miss Jackie, our nurse. We would be happy to connect them with the right places and people to make sure that every student here, regardless of their socio-economic status, is supported and feels seen, heard from, and feels safe, Conrad said. “We are hoping to expand the project to other bathrooms and [attempting to] apply for a grant and work with some partners in the community. [We hope for more] donation[s] to continue to strengthen this [project].”

This story was originally published on The Prospector on November 29, 2021.