Girl Scout Troop 2090 went to the Fairfax County Public Schools board meeting to address the lack of menstrual products in middle and high school bathrooms all over the county. They created a survey asking questions about the lack of products at their schools and got lots of student feedback.
Group Scout troop 2090 includes eight sophomores who are currently working hard to get their gold award, one of the most prestigious awards they can get as a Girl Scout. The girls all chose to work toward fixing a very common issue amongst FCPS: the lack of menstrual products.
First, the troop made a plan. This plan was to collect data regarding the lack of menstrual products and use that information to take action.
The survey asked multiple questions ranging from the availability of feminine products to the amount of time it would take to retrieve one. There was a comment box available for students to leave anonymous stories about more personal experiences.
Their digital survey was sent out to students around the county and received more than 100 responses. The results were a total of 90 percent of students who had no access to pads or tampons in school bathrooms at all, and 80 percent who said it would take them 10 minutes or more to retrieve one. Survey responders shared over 30 personal stories.
“The bathrooms are never stocked with hygiene products,” one student stated anonymously. “It’s so disappointing. I don’t want to have to go to the nurse to ask for them if needed.”
After sophomore Ishi Velpula was accepted to speak at the meeting, it was time to voice the issue. Strict rules of the meeting made it difficult for the troop to give detailed information about the issue and the survey that was taken. Velpula was only allowed exactly two minutes to speak in front of board members.
“Well, I was definitely nervous at first but everyone in my troop was very supportive and encouraging,” explained Velpula.
Despite the challenges, the meeting was a success for the troop, and they got lots of praise for it as they left the school with an audience of people clapping for them. Troop 2090’s impact can be seen throughout the school as girls’ bathrooms now have pads and tampons readily available for students.