My daughter has been stripped of her dignity after having to ask school staff for sanitary products – I'm furious | The Sun

A FURIOUS mum says her daughter has been 'stripped of her dignity' after having to ask for sanitary products at school.

Zara Stuart, a pupil at Woodfarm High School, claimed girls are in fear they will 'bleed through' their skirts as bathrooms don't have sanitary products.

The 14-year-old said female students are being 'stripped of their dignity' when they have to ask for products from the school office.

She told the Record: "My heart sank when it happened because I didn't have any pads and I had this horrible feeling where I knew there would be no way I could make it downstairs to the office to ask for padding and back up again to the toilet without bleeding through.

"I was panicking that it had already bled through my skirt. I was on the top floor when it happened and it was a long walk to the office to get sanitary products."

Her frustration was worsened because the cause of her ordeal was due to an incident in the boy's toilets.

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After the vandalism took place, access to pads or tampons is difficult, Miss Stuart claimed.

She said: "There was an incident in the boys' toilets which resulted in vandalism damages. Instead of trying to find out who had done it, they decided to lock the girls' and boys' toilets during classes, except for them being open during breaks and lunches.

"That maybe leaves one disabled toilet on the bottom floor and one gender-neutral toilet and a disabled toilet per floor. There hasn't been a sanitary product in sight in any of them."

Zara's mum, Laura Docherty, added: “I am supporting Zara because I stand with her and I do not believe young women should be asking school staff for sanitary products in this day in age.

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“They need to consider a better system for sanitary products.

“I send my kids to school to be educated and to be nurtured and I do not feel that is happening.”

The 49-year-old supports her daughter's campaign, which now has 312 signatures, to reopen the school toilets and provide sanitary products.

Talking about the petition, Miss Stuart added: "I felt that running this petition was the only way to get them to listen to us. I know other girls are embarrassed – my friends have been in a similar situation and it's mortifying.

We are being stripped of our dignity and it leaves us feeling like they don't care."

"Even having to ask office staff for sanitary products is bad. I don't feel like I should have to say when I am on my period or not.

"I don't feel comfortable going up and asking for pads, especially if there are boys in the corridor or people walking past. It's just an awful situation to be in."

One month before Miss Stuart spoke out about the issue, Scotland passed The Period Products Act.

This law ensures everyone should have access to free period products, and it should not be 'complex no bureaucratic' to get them.

Labour MSP Monica Lennon was responsible for proposing this legislation.

Ms Lennon commented: "Limiting access to school toilets puts the health, wellbeing and dignity of children and young people at risk. All schools should have a good understanding of pupils’ health needs, including those who are menstruating or have bowel or bladder conditions.

“Having to ask for period products at the main office is not what you would expect to happen in a school that respects the rights of children and young people.

"Much work has been done to tackle the stigma around periods, but we know that girls can still feel embarrassed."

I commend Zara for starting this petition and I would urge Woodfarm High to reconsider its position."

A spokesperson for East Renfrewshire Council said: "Pupils have access to sanitary products throughout the school day from a wide range of locations, including in the central street area, as has always been the case.

"The toilets in the street area are available for all pupils to use.

"A temporary system was introduced in an attempt to maximise teaching time in classes and minimise the opportunity for inappropriate behaviour, this has not impacted pupils’ ability to easily access sanitary products.

"Following recent consultation with pupils, work is also under way to introduce additional supplies of sanitary products in more toilets across the school.”

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