The restrictive law restricts schools’ ability to educate younger children about sex, STDs and related subjects. This will only be allowed in grades six through twelve.
Republican Stan McClain, who is behind the bill, confirmed in a recent committee meeting in the state legislature that educating children about menstruation would be covered by the bill.
– So, if little girls experience their period in fifth or fourth grade, will that prevent conversation from them since they are in a grade lower than sixth? asked Democrat Ashley Gantt when the issue was debated. Gantt himself has a background as a teacher and claimed that girls can get their period as young as ten.
– It would, McClain replied.
The draft law passed the education committee in the state parliament with a large majority, 13 to 5 votes.
The bill also allows parents to object to books and other educational materials used by the school. It requires schools to teach students that a person’s sexual identity is biologically determined at birth and tightens the state Department of Education’s control over certain educational resources.
According to McClain, the law aims to harmonize sex education in Florida’s 67 school districts and increase the ability for parents to object to books or other materials they feel are unsuitable for younger children.
At the committee meeting discussing the bill, Gantt asked if teachers could be penalized for talking about younger children’s periods.
– My concern is that they will not be sure that they can have these conversations with these little girls, she said.
McClain replied that that was “not the purpose” of the bill and that he was receptive to some changes in the wording.
The bill must also be approved by another committee before the full assembly acts on it, and a similar bill is also under consideration in the Florida Senate.
Florida’s Republican governor Ron DeSantis reportedly wants to be declared a presidential candidate before the 2024 election, but his office has not yet responded to the AP news agency’s request.