7th graders make tampon cookies to demand free tampons at school

A middle school principal denied his students’ requests for free tampons in the bathrooms, and they’re protesting in the sweetest way: with tampon cookies.

People have long argued that menstrual products should be free, or at least counted as a medical expense on taxes. After all, they’re a hygienic necessity. It’s not easy to go about your day if blood is running down your legs. Unsurprisingly, not having access to menstrual products keeps some kids in poverty from being able to go to school consistently, according to Global Citizen.

Even if you’re not in poverty, not having access to pads or tampons when a period strikes can be a horrifying situation, even more so if you’re a young teen new to menstruating. At one middle school, students tried to solve this problem by requesting that free tampons be provided in the bathrooms at the school. But the administration wasn’t receptive.

“My friend’s 7th grader goes to a school where the kids organized for free tampons in the bathroom,” Ilyse Hogue, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, tweeted on Tuesday. “The male principle said no because they would ‘abuse the privilege.’” Rather than giving up, the middle-schoolers came back with a more creative way to get people’s attention: tampon cookies.

“Behold the tampon cookies!” Hogue said, sharing a picture a plate of wafer cookies with red and white frosting. A single string hangs off each piece. Twitter users congratulated the students on their thoughtful and eye-catching protest and wished them luck in getting the change they’re demanding. Others shared stories of how similar situations were handled at their schools.

Amid celebrations for the tampon cookies, there was one pressing question: What on earth could the principal mean by “abuse the privilege?” Is he imagining that they’ll be used for pranks? By that reasoning, students should also provide their own toilet paper. Some suggested that students could take more than they need and sell them—but who would buy them at a school that provides free tampons?

Whether the principal will ever explain what he meant and whether the tampon cookie protest will be effective remains to be seen.

The Daily Dot reached out to Hogue for comment.

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Alex Dalbey

Alex Dalbey

Alex Dalbey is a writer and zinester currently living in Saint Paul, Minnesota. They have written for The Daily Dot, Kill Screen, The Lingerie Addict, and Bullet Points.