Girl Scouts fight to install menstrual hygiene locker in their school bathrooms
(NEW YORK) -- A group of Girl Scouts in western Ohio fought to put a locker for menstrual hygiene products in their school restrooms, and even used some of the money they made from selling cookies to fund it.
"We never really set out to really change the world with our project, but we knew that it could make a world of a difference to the girls in our school," Reagan, one of the girl scouts involved in the project told ABC News' Good Morning America.
Reagan said that they got the idea because they were not allowed to carry bags around during school and their uniforms didn't have pockets. If students needed feminine hygiene products, they would have to go to the school nurse to pick them up.
The girls teamed up as a troop and wrote a letter to their school's parent-teacher organization, but their initial proposal of having individual lockers in the restrooms was shut down by the school. Eventually, their second proposal of one big locker with individual cubbies was greenlighted last December.
They were able to fund the project in part with proceeds from selling Girl Scout cookies. The girls even helped assemble and install the locker themselves.
Another girl scout, Alexis, said that the project was important to them because it was a way to support their fellow girls.
"This project is important to us because it encourages girls more, and [makes] them feel comfortable at school and confident," she told GMA. "And it's really fun to help out girls in our community."
Reagan added that the response from fellow girls at their school has been overwhelmingly positive.
"Last year, when we started the project, some of the older girls mentioned how much they were trying to sneak around their products, and when we mentioned we were going to put cabinets, the girls were really excited," she said.
The girl scouts, both fifth-graders, wished to only be identified by their first names for privacy reasons. Their troop leader, Jen Strickler, said it was inspirational to see the group of young women "come together and really look to see how to make things better and how to make the world a little bit better in certain ways."
"For me personally, I remember 30 years ago experiencing something similar, so we kind of started talking through what made the most sense" for how these young women could access menstrual hygiene products at school more easily, Strickler said.
She said she hopes the locker will "really make that transition of going from a girl to a young woman that much easier for them."
Reagan said she hopes that "other girls will hear our story and advocate for a change in their school."
"It would be amazing if this became the standard in all schools, and maybe baby steps of something even greater," she said.
Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.