The Upper Canada District School Board (UCDSB) has announced that 337 menstrual product dispensers have been installed across every single school in the district. Students can now get free menstrual products from these dispensers whenever they need them.
The UCDSB began planning to install these dispensers after former student trustee Tain Hughes put forward a request to the board last spring, asking the board to begin supplying free menstrual products to students all across the district. The board voted unanimously to support Hughes’ request. John McAllister, the UCDSB’s Chair, says the province’s recent partnership with Shoppers Drug Mart to provide products to schools for free helped to speed up the process of adding the dispensers.
Hughes, now attending Queen’s University in Kingston, says she hopes the UCDSB’s fast implementation of the dispensers will help students feel comfortable approaching the board in the future. “Just knowing that students, such as my younger sister, can now go to school with no external concerns of safety or judgement due to period products is incredible,” says Hughes. “I hope this has left a legacy of care, accommodation, and empathy from the UCDSB, showcasing that they care and hear the students’ voices.”