Piqua to offer special feminine healthcare class in 2024


By Eamon Baird

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PIQUA — The Piqua City Schools Board of Education (BOE) heard a proposal for an advisory class focusing on feminine health and hygiene on Thursday, Dec. 14.

On Oct 3, 2023, the Ohio General Assembly passed House Bill 33, which included the following:

“Each school district, other public school, and chartered nonpublic school that enrolls girls in any of grades six through twelve shall provide free feminine hygiene products to those students. All such products shall be for use on school premises.”

Scott Bloom, director of curriculum for Piqua Schools for grades 6 to 12, and Leanna Michael, nurse for the Piqua High School, presented the board with a proposal for two advisory classes focusing on feminine health and hygiene starting next year.

“For most of the kids, the last time they have any kind of education around feminine hygiene body changes is grade five, and we require one semester of health and high school, and that’s it,” Bloom said.

Bloom added this class is designed to provide health and wellness education for Piqua High School students to talk about changes in what they’re experiencing and how to work with different feminine hygiene options.

Michael said that another benefit of these classes will be the research and information that they provide.

“After we start presenting and we get some feedback from our girls, we’re going to do a peer review of area nurses coming in those who are in school districts, those in OBGYN offices as well have agreed to come and listen in as well and get their feedback. The goal is by the end of 2024, that we actually publish it, putting Piqua Schools at the forefront,” Michael said.

Piqua City schools also provided an opt-out letter for any parent who doesn’t want their child participating in the program, which provided the following information:

“This year, Piqua High School will be presenting the feminine hygiene for teens program. Researched and written by school health professionals, the goal of this program is to support the overall health of your student.”

“The program empowers female students to have a better overall understanding of female health and wellness and to be better informed about feminine hygiene products that work best for them.”

“This program will be conducted by the Piqua High School nursing professional and will take place during two Advisory classes. Each student will be provided with an information sheet that will contain details of the program and the hygiene products that were discussed.”

Michael hopes this advisory class can help provide essential information and resources to female students.

“When this all kind of came about, it was actually a student who kind of brought it to my attention inadvertently. It wasn’t until I started working here that I learned about some of the things people struggle with. A student came to my office and told me she and her mom could not afford feminine health and hygiene products. ‘So how do we fix this?’ ‘How do we keep her in the classroom?’ This is it,’” Michael said.

Bloom, Michael, and Kacie Pace, Piqua High School social studies teacher, worked with the Piqua Education Foundation to receive grant funding for this proposal, which the Piqua BOE unanimously approved.

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