New Westminster Board of Education votes to provide free tampons in school washrooms

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      In the same week that a film about menstruation won an Academy Award, school trustees in New Westminster have brought this topic out of the shadows in their district.

      Yesterday, they voted to install coin-free tampon and pad dispensers in all girls and universal washrooms in elementary and secondary schools.

      According to a report that went to the board, this will "enhance the ability of students to manage menstruation without undue delay, financial burden, or shame".

      One-time implementation costs are estimated at $9,784. The ongoing cost will be $7,000.

      At New Westminster secondary, it's estimated that 1,000 tampons and 500 sanitary napkins will be available in its eight washrooms.

      It came two days after "Period. End of Sentence" won the Academy Award in the Documentary Short Subject category.

      One of the filmmakers, Rayka Zehtabchi, charmed a global audience with this statement: "I'm not crying because I'm on my period or anything. I can't believe a film about menstruation just won an Oscar!"

      Watch the Academy Awards acceptance speeches by Rayka Zehtabchi and Melissa Berton, who made the short film "Period. End of Sentence".

      In her speech, she credited Indian women in the film for empowering women everywhere to fight for menstrual equality.

      Fellow filmmaker Melissa Berton said that she was sharing her Oscar with teachers and students around the world.

      "A period should end a sentence, not a girl's education," she declared.

      Watch the trailer for "Period. End of Sentence".