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Teaching Tolerance Magazine Examines Menstrual Equity Movement in Schools

MONTGOMERY, Ala. – Menstruation is one of society’s most stigmatized topics but educators can help dispel the shame associated with this natural biological process and improve gender parity by not only providing access to free menstrual products in schools, but also challenging inequitable school policies (like dress code), and normalizing the subject through health education for all students, according to the latest issue of Teaching Tolerance magazine released next Tuesday.

Equity, Period., the cover story for the 2019 Spring issue of the magazine, guides teachers through the history of the menstrual equity movement while providing tools to help them advocate for fairer policies and health education at their schools. 

“The menstruation equity movement is about so much more than access to free products, it’s about taking away the stigma and establishing policies that appropriately address the needs of individuals who experience menstruation,” said Maureen Costello, director of Teaching Tolerance, a project of the Southern Poverty Law Center. “Schools can help by educating all students about menstruation. This issue offers tips to help.” 

Other articles in the magazine:

explore how parent-led reading groups encouraging children to read, think and teach about social justice can reinforce important lessons taught at school; 
discuss how more schools are adding mental health to the required curricula to reduce stigma and help young people better understand their own emotions, behaviors and brains; and
highlight the upcoming Black Lives Matter at School of Week Action organized by teachers in more 20 cities across the country. 

Bearing Witness to the Hard History of Guilford revisits the release of Teaching Tolerance’s Teaching Hard History: American Slavery report, one year later, through a case study of how a New England middle school teacher and his students traced the wealth that built their charming town back to slavery. The curriculum for the class project which examined the stories of three enslaved persons from Gilford covers nine of the 10 “Key Concepts” that Teaching Tolerance recommends in the report for teaching American slavery. Another article, Preserving a More Honest History, offers tips on how teachers can better select field trips to historical homes and plantations that honor the enslaved people who lived and worked there. 

The 2019 Spring issue of Teaching Tolerance can be viewed at: https://www.splcenter.org/sites/default/files/teaching-tolerance-magazine-61-spring-2019.pdf

Teaching Tolerance magazine, published three times a year, is the nation’s leading journal serving educators on diversity issues. It is distributed free of charge to more than 410,000 educators nationwide.

To interview Costello about ways in which schools can help erase the stigma of menstruation and other issues that are covered in the magazine – contact Ashley Levett at (334) 296-0084.