Florida Lawmakers Propose Bill Banning Talks on Reproductive Health Before 6th Grade

Menstrual bag with cotton tampons and sanitary pads
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The bill would prohibit instruction about menstrual cycles in elementary schools.

A proposed bill in Florida would prohibit instruction on human sexuality, reproductive health, and sexually transmitted diseases in elementary schools.

The bill, sponsored by Republican Rep. Stan McClain, would restrict instruction and even ban conversations on reproductive health, including menstrual cycles, up until the 6th grade. 

Rep. McClain spoke on the measure during an Education Quality Subcommittee meeting and faced multiple questions from Democrat Rep. Ashley Gantt about what it would mean for younger girls that may have questions about their menstrual cycle.

“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 6th grade,” asked Rep. Gantt.

McClain's only response to this question was “it would.” Though he later stated he was “amenable” to changes in the language so that teachers feel comfortable having those conversations with individual students if asked. 

The intent of the bill is to achieve “uniformity” across sex education in public school districts and allow for parents to object to books and materials in the instruction, according to McClain.

The bill was passed by the subcommittee and was referred to the Education and Employment committee, through which it must pass before it can reach the House floor.

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