Florida pushes to abolish primary-aged children from learning about periods in school

Before a girl starts her period it is helpful if she knows what it is, but in the US one state is pushing to change that by prohibiting discussions of menstrual cycles with primary-aged school children. 

Florida lawmakers are considering a draft law that would ban teaching young girls about their menstrual cycles until they reach sixth grade, the equivalent of year 7 - but many of them would have already started their periods by that age.

The legislation sponsored by Republican Stan McClain would restrict school instruction on a variety of sexual health topics, and while it doesn't mention the word "period" or "menstruation", McClain confirmed it would prevent teachers from discussing the topics with students.

State Representative and Democrat Ashley Grantt believes the Bill is a regressive bill and will deny elementary school students from being well-informed about their bodies.

According to Health Navigator NZ, periods generally start between 10 and 16 years of age, however, some girls may start them earlier.

"Imagine a little girl in fourth grade, going to the bathroom and finding blood in her panties and thinking that she is dying," Grantt said during the Education Quality Subcommittee.

"She doesn't actually know what's going on and her teacher does not even have the ability to tell her that this is a part of life.

"So if little girls experience their menstrual cycle in 5th grade or 4th grade, will that prohibit conversations from them since they are in the grade lower than sixth grade?"

McClain responded to her question: "It would."

He said the Bill aims to bring uniformity to sex education across all Flordia schools.

Stan McClain is backing the legislation.
Stan McClain is backing the legislation. Photo credit: Facebook

Bill 1069 states it will only allow instructions in "acquired immune deficiency syndrome, sexually transmitted diseases, or health education, when such instruction and course material contains instruction in human sexuality" in grade 6 through to 12, the New Zealand equivalent of year 7 to 13. 

Other sections of the Bill include teaching that sex is determined by biology and reproductive function at birth, abstinence from sexual activity outside of marriage is the expert standard and the benefits of monogamous heterosexual marriage.

The Bill passed the subcommittee by 13 votes to five.