Florida is on track to ban elementary school discussions about STDs and menstrual cycles
Bill works its way through Florida Legislature Elementary school discussions about sexually transmitted diseases and sex education topics such as menstrual cycles will be prohibited.
Legislation, sponsored by the Vice State Republic. Stan McClain swept the House Subcommittee on Education Quality on Wednesday by a 13-5 vote.
McClain said the bill would make sex education classes across the state’s public school systems more consistent and give parents more of a platform to speak out about curricula they disagree with.
The bill bans discussions in elementary school classrooms about topics such as STDs, and requires schools to teach that a person’s gender identity is biologically determined at birth. Under the bill, sex education classes would be restricted to sixth grade through high school.
State Democrats criticized the bill for banning discussions about menstruation for girls younger than sixth grade. The average age for first-time girls is 12, and the ages range from 10 to 15.
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“So if little girls experience their period in fifth grade or fourth grade, will that prevent talking about them because they’re in the lower grade than sixth grade?” Democratic State Representative. I asked Ashley Janet McClain last week.
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“It will be so,” McClain replied.
The intent of the bill, McClain said, is not to penalize female teachers who talk to young girls about their periods, and it is “amenable” to some changes to the law.
The bill would require Florida to approve school materials Department of Educationand will create school community objection forms that would include contact information for school district leaders, WUSF reported.
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If an objection is made regarding pornography orsexual behaviourThe bill would require that such materials be withdrawn within five school days and remain unavailable until the objection is resolved.
The WUSF reported that Gantt denounced the bill as encouraging book bans.
“I hope we can all understand that we are taking away our children’s ability to be critical thinkers, by telling them we want to protect their innocence. They are going to be adults one day, and they need to be informed adults,” Gantt said last week.
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The Associated Press contributed to this report.