The 21st Show

Following Up On Illinois’ Law Mandating Free Sanitary Products In Schools


Dusty Rhodes/NPR Illinois

Back in January 2018, Illinois passed an act that tampons and sanitary pads would be free in school bathrooms for middle and high schoolers. 

Unfortunately, not all districts are complying. 

Speaking on the 21st Show, Litesa Wallace, former Democratic state representative and the bill's sponsor, said while there was originally pushback from her bill due to questions of funding, there was never a price tag placed on it.

With the help of two high school journalists, NPR Illinois reporter Dusty Rhodes investigated schools around Springfield to see how the bill was being implemented. 

They found varying results: While it appeared that some schools were not charging for sanitary products, some bathrooms were out of stock and others were jammed or broken. They also discovered that many of the students didn’t know that there was a law.

Guests: Litesa Wallace, former Illinois State Representative from Rockford. Katie Stuart, Illinois State Representative from Edwardsville. Ashley Novoa, founder and executive director of Chicago Period Project.

Written for web by WILL intern Tatiania Perry.

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