Florida Republicans would ban girls from talking about their periods while at school

Florida Republicans would ban girls from talking about their periods while at school
Florida Republicans would ban girls from talking about their periods while at school
Khushbu Kumari

A Republican-backed bill in Florida would ban girls under the sixth grade from talking about their periods at school

Florida Republican lawmakers are introducing and promoting a wave of gender and diversity bills likely to be signed into law by Gov. Ron DeSantis , and one Republican lawmaker acknowledged this week that his sexual health bill would ban girls from talking about their menstrual cycles at school, according to The Washington Post.

State Rep. Stan McClain proposed House Bill 1069, which would limit sexual and reproductive health instruction to grades 6 through 12.

At a subcommittee hearing Wednesday, Democratic state Rep. Ashley Gantt asked McClain whether the bill would “prohibit discussions of menstrual cycles” for girls who get their periods before sixth grade, noting that girls generally they begin to menstruate between the ages of 10 and 15, which would include fourth and fifth graders.

McClain replied: “I would.”

Republican Rep. McClain who represents Ocala, Florida, later clarified that the bill “would not be intended” to punish girls if they came to teachers with questions or concerns about their menstrual cycle, adding that he would be “willing” to amendments if submitted.

The bill passed 13-5 on Wednesday, in a party-line vote, because Republican lawmakers make up a large majority in the chamber.

Gantt told The Washington Post that he thought the bill was “egregious,” adding: “I thought it was pretty remarkable that the start of a girl's menstrual cycle was not contemplated when they drafted this bill.”

Major changes to education in Florida

Restricting girls from talking about their periods at school isn't the only element of McClain's bill, which was introduced last month.

The bill requires schools to teach how “sex is determined by biology and reproductive function at birth” and “these reproductive roles are binary, stable and immutable.”

Part of the proposed legislation would require the Florida Department of Education to approve all educational materials used in sexual health. It would also give parents the right to limit the types of library books their children can check out.

The bill now heads to the state House floor. If it goes through the Republican-controlled chamber, it still must go through the state Senate before DeSantis signs it into law.

Florida Republicans introduced two bills Monday that would ban gender-affirming care for minors and eliminate diversity programs at universities.

Another proposal was advanced Tuesday that would ban classroom lessons on gender identity and sexual orientation until eighth grade.

The expansion of the controversial bill, which has been labeled “Don't Say Gay” by critics, has the vocal support of DeSantis, a potential 2024 Republican presidential candidate.

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