Florida period bill: Republican Rep. Stan McClain sponsors a bill banning girls’ talk about menstruation in elementary grades

Sunday, March 19, 2023 at 3:12 am

ABC7 Chicago 24/7 Stream

Florida – Legislation moving in the Florida House would ban discussion of menstrual cycles and other human sexual topics in elementary grades.

The bill, sponsored by Republican Representative Stan McClain, restricts public school education about human sexuality, sexually transmitted diseases, and related topics for grades six through twelve. McClain confirmed at a recent committee meeting that discussions about menstrual cycles would also be limited to those classes.

“So if little girls experience their period in fifth grade or fourth grade, will that prevent conversations from them because they are in the lower grade than sixth grade?” asked State Rep. Ashley Gantt, a Democrat who used to teach in the public schools, and noticed that girls as young as 10 could start menstruating.

“It will be so,” McClain replied.

The GOP-backed legislation passed the House Subcommittee on Education Quality on Wednesday by a 13-5 vote, primarily along party lines. It would also allow parents to object to books and other materials their children are exposed to, require schools to teach that a person’s gender identity is determined biologically at birth and have more scrutiny of certain educational materials by the state Department of Education.

McClain said the bill’s intent is to achieve uniformity in sex education in all of Florida’s 67 school districts and to provide more avenues for parents to object to books or other materials they deem inappropriate for younger children.

At the committee meeting, Gantt asked if teachers could face punishment if they discussed menstruation with younger students.

“My concern is that they wouldn’t feel safe having these conversations with these young girls,” she said.

McClain said “that would not be the intent” of the bill and that it was “subject to” some changes in its language. The procedure must be approved by another committee before it reaches the council 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.

Copyright © 2023 by The Associated Press. All rights reserved.


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