Menstrual cycles may be about to become the new banned topic in grade schools in Florida, along with sexuality and race.
Legislation in Florida is moving through the state House of Representative to ban any discussion of human sexuality topics, including menstrual cycles, in kindergarten through fifth grade.
The GOP-backed proposal cleared the House Education Quality Subcommittee on Wednesday, with a 13-5 vote along party lines. It’s yet another of Florida’s bills to ban anything “woke” from schools. And “woke” now appears to include simple biological facts about students’ own bodies.
The bill sponsored by Republican Rep. Stan McClain would restrict public school instruction on human sexuality, sexually transmitted diseases and related topics to grades 6 through 12. McClain confirmed explicitly at a recent committee meeting that even extracurricular discussions about menstrual cycles would also be restricted to those grades.
The bill would also allow (and encourage) parents to object to books and other materials their children are exposed to, require schools to teach that a person’s sexual identity is determined biologically at birth and allow all educational materials to be selected or banned by the state Department of Education.
Children typically begin their first menstrual cycle between 10 and 16, with 12 being average. A ten-year-old is a fourth or fifth grader, meaning that many children will begin menstruating in class with a teacher forbidden by law from speaking to them about it.
According to Republican Rep. Stan McClain, the bill’s sponsor, the intent of the bill is to standardize sex education across Florida’s 67 school districts and provide more pathways for parents to dictate what material they find appropriate for all children.
The measure must be approved by one more committee before it can reach the House Floor for vote. Another similar bill is pending in the Senate. Gagging teachers from speaking to their students is a major priority for the Republican house.