Monday, May 9, 2022
The New Jersey Assembly has proposed a bill allowing students experiencing a menstrual disorder to attend school remotely. The summary of the bill explains how the bill works and why it is important:
This bill permits a student enrolled in a school district to attend school through virtual or remote means while experiencing symptoms of a menstrual disorder. The student's parent or guardian will submit a written request for accommodation no later than the start of the school day the accommodation is required. Under the bill, menstrual disorders include, but are not limited to, dysmenorrhea, endometriosis, menorrhea, and polycystic ovarian syndrome.
A parent or guardian will provide medical documentation, as required by the principal of the school in which the student is enrolled, to prove the student meets the requirements for virtual or remote instruction related to menstrual disorders. Under the bill, a day of virtual or remote instruction will be considered the equivalent of a full day of school attendance for the purposes of meeting State and local graduation requirements or the awarding of course credit.
Also under the bill, the Commissioner of Education, in consultation with the Commissioner of Health, will provide school districts with criteria for defining an excused absence from school related to a menstrual disorder.
Menstrual disorders, and the pain and discomfort associated with them, are often cited as the reason menstruating students miss school days. Menstrual disorders are also fairly common; one in five menstruating students experience menorrhagia, and nearly 70 percent of menstruating students experience dysmenorrhea. Students who attend class while experiencing a menstrual disorder often report classroom performance or concentration being negatively affected. Additionally, nearly one third of students who menstruate report missing at least one day of school while experiencing menstruation.