Taxpayer funds down the toilet

By Taxpayers Association of Oregon

Recently boys at Lakeridge High School in Lake Oswego have been making their opinions known about their dislike of feminine hygiene product machines being placed in their bathrooms.


The Lake Oswego School District responded by sending an email to parents:
“In the last weeks, we have been combating vandalism in the boy’s bathrooms. Students have been taking the tampon dispensers down and placing them inside the toilets. We would like your help in stopping this form of vandalism. LOSD provides menstrual products for students at no cost. These products are available in all K-12 bathrooms, as part of the Menstrual Dignity for Students Program. Oregon’s Menstrual Dignity Act – passed in 2021 as House Bill 3294 – requires schools to provide menstrual products in gender-neutral, male and female restrooms, making them available to more than 552,000 K-12 students, 85,000 community college students and 96,500 public university students statewide.”

We accurately warned that this inflexible government mandate was vulnerable to waste and abuse, especially since these machines can cost taxpayers up to $400 each.  It is also next to impossible to know, find and provide consequence to such vandals.

The law passed in 2021 while we were all in COVID lockdowns and the Oregon legislature severely limited normal citizens’ input.  The public was locked out of the Capitol Building and not allowed to testify or watch our lawmakers at work.   In 2021,  the legislature estimated the cost to provide these product at every public school and university to be $4.52 million every school year.

The testimony list shows that only people in support of the bill and “in the know” registered to testify.

Senate Bill 246 was introduced this session and would remove this requirement from male bathrooms and charter school bathrooms, but died in committee. The bill would have still required feminine products be available in female accessible bathrooms.

Lawmakers should focus on what is the most effective and efficient way to provide targeted health services to those that need it while allowing local school boards the flexibility to make decisions that work the best for their local district.

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