Florida plans to ban girls’ period, other sexuality talks in elementary classes

Florida is mulling the introduction of a law that would ban discussion on menstrual cycles and other human sexuality topics in Classes 1 to 6.

India Today News Desk

New Delhi,UPDATED: Mar 19, 2023 09:07 IST

Florida State Representative Stan McClain, R-Belleview, attends a legislative session, in Tallahassee, Fla. Legislation moving in the Florida House would ban discussion of menstrual cycles and other human sexuality topics in elementary grades. (Photo: AP)

By India Today News Desk: A bill sponsored by Republican Rep. Stan McClain that would ban discussion of menstrual cycles and other human sexuality topics in elementary grades (Classes 1 to 6) has been introduced in the Florida House.

McClain confirmed at a recent committee meeting that discussions about menstrual cycles would also be restricted to those grades.

“So if little girls experience their menstrual cycle in 5th grade or 4th grade, will that prohibit conversations from them since they are in the grade lower than sixth grade?” asked state Rep. Ashley Gantt, a Democrat who taught in public schools and noted that girls as young as 10 can begin having periods.

“It would,” McClain responded.

On Wednesday, the House Education Quality Subcommittee passed a bill backed by the GOP with a 13-5 vote, primarily divided along party lines. The proposed legislation would grant parents the right to object to their children’s exposure to certain books and materials and require schools to teach that a person’s sexual identity is determined biologically at birth.

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Additionally, it would increase scrutiny of specific educational materials by the state Department of Education.

The bill’s sponsor, McClain, explained that the objective is to standardize sex education across all 67 school districts in Florida and provide more options for parents to voice their concerns about inappropriate content for younger children.

During the committee meeting, Gantt inquired about potential repercussions for teachers who discuss menstruation with younger students.

“My concern is they won’t feel safe to have those conversations with these little girls,” she said.

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McClain said “that would not be the intent” of the bill and that he is “amenable” to some changes to its language. The measure must be approved by another committee before it can reach the House floor; a similar bill is pending in the Senate.

An email seeking comment was sent Saturday to the office of Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis, who is widely seen as a potential 2024 presidential candidate.

(With input from Associated Press)

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