Florida Republican's Bill Would Ban Young Girls From Discussing Their Periods In School

Rep. Stan McClain's (R) admitted that his bill would limit girls from talking about their periods, although he clarified that was not the intent.

A Florida Republican seeking to restrict sex education for students confirmed in a committee hearing on Wednesday that his bill would also ban young girls from discussing their menstrual cycles with school officials.

Rep. Stan McClain’s (R) proposed legislation, House Bill 1069, seeks to restrict the educational materials used in state schools, which critics have likened to book banning. The bill requires course material and instruction on sexually transmitted diseases, health education or material on human sexuality to “only occur in grades 6 through 12,” according to the legislation.

During a Wednesday House Education Quality Subcommittee, Rep. Ashley Viola Gantt (D) asked McClain if this bill would prohibit girls younger than 6th grade from discussing their periods in school.

“Does this bill prohibit conversations about menstrual cycles ― because we know that typically the ages is between 10 and 15 ― so if little girls experience their menstrual cycle in fifth grade or fourth grade, will that prohibit conversations from them since they are in the grade lower than sixth grade?” Gantt asked McClain during the committee hearing.

“It would,” McClain responded.

Gantt asked a follow-up question later in the session, clarifying if teachers will be penalized if their students come to them with issues or questions about their periods. McClain responded that “would not be the intent of the bill,” and he was “amenable” to amendments that would ensure these conversations could take place.

McClain did not immediately respond to HuffPost’s request for comment.

In addition to limiting sex education, McClain’s bill would require schools to teach that “sex is determined by biology and reproductive function at birth” and “these reproductive roles are binary, stable, and unchangeable.” The legislation also requires all educational materials be approved by the state Department of Education and allows parents to limit library books that their children have access to.

“This bill shines a bright light on Florida’s political leaders’ perpetual thirst for power and control,” Annie Filkowski, policy and political director of the Florida Alliance of Planned Parenthood Affiliates, told HuffPost in an emailed statement.

“They are restricting sex education, banning abortion, defunding birth control, and now going so far as to admit that young women cannot discuss menstruation under their absurd legislation. Young people start menstruation anytime between nine and 16 years old. It’s ridiculous to prohibit them from discussing it with their teacher.”

The Florida House subcommittee passed the bill along party lines in a 13-5 vote on Wednesday evening.

McClain’s bill is one of a slew of extreme bills introduced in the Florida legislative session which began earlier this month. Several lawmakers have introduced legislation seeking to ban education materials, including critical race theory and women’s studies. State lawmakers have also introduced a six-week abortion ban. Most of the legislation is very likely to pass given Republicans hold a supermajority.

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