The Forgotten Ones

April 20, 2020

During this Covid-19 epidemic, the San Diego Unified School District has been touting its accolades via every social media outlet that will listen.  The desired effect is for our communities to believe that Superintendent Marten and the school board really do care about our students. This seems unbelievable based on several factors that have been brought to my attention.  SDUSD has forgotten:

Students:  The district and the teacher’s union created an MOU immediately to protect the rights of the adults working with students.  This was finished in record time while a plan of action for student learning is still really not firmly secure by any means.  The priority of the district is made abundantly clear…adults first, student learning next.

Adolescent Girls:  The district has finally created several food distribution centers at a variety of school sites.  This has been very helpful to our families that live below the poverty level. There is a major group of students who have been forgotten…our young adolescent girls.  Schools meeting the 40 percent pupil poverty threshold are required to provide free feminine hygiene products to students in grades 6-12.  

Education code 35292.6 states: 

(a) A public school maintaining any combination of classes from grade 6 to grade 12, inclusive, that meets the 40-percent pupil poverty threshold required to operate a schoolwide program pursuant to Section 6314(a)(1)(A) of Title 20 of the United States Code shall stock at least 50 percent of the school’s restrooms with feminine hygiene products at all times.

(b) A public school described in subdivision (a) shall not charge for any menstrual products provided to pupils, including, but not limited to, feminine hygiene products.

(c) For purposes of this section, “feminine hygiene products” means tampons and sanitary napkins for use in connection with the menstrual cycle.

(Added by Stats. 2017, Ch. 687, Sec. 1. (AB 10) Effective January 1, 2018.)

It would be great to take the products from the schools and distribute them to the students at the school food distribution sites.   Our school nurses have these supplies provided to them at no cost and the supplies are just sitting at the school sites. Our young girls rely on this service and we need to provide this immediately.  There are some sites that actually have a pantry and could bring those supplies to the food distribution sites as well.   

While these important factors have been brought to my attention, I am asking the media to inquire from our district if and when they will assist our young girls to give them the necessary items needed that were provided for them prior to this epidemic.  I cannot imagine young men being forgotten in this way!

Francine Maxwell, President
NAACP San Diego Branch