What's the deal with trying to ban period talk in Florida schools? Everything you need to know.

A bill that's currently sitting in Florida's House of Representatives could see any discussion of menstrual cycles and other topics around human sexuality banned for students in primary grades.

The proposed legislation, known as House Bill 1069, would restrict public schools teaching students about sexuality, sexually transmitted diseases and all other related topics until they're in grade six (i.e. between 11 and 12 years old).

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In a video that has now gone viral, Florida Democratic representative Ashley Viola Gantt questioned the bill and asked Republican representative Stan McClain if the bill would stop young girls from being able to discuss periods in schools. 

McClain asserted that "it would". 

Gantt pointed out that girls typically begin to experience periods between the ages of 10 and 15 years, and asked if that would prevent them from speaking about that - and McClain, once again, stated that the bill would stamp out those conversations. 


The bill also proposes that parents may object to books and other materials their children are exposed to within schools. 

Because Florida's House of Representatives is dominated by Republicans, the GOP-backed bill has already been approved by a House Education Quality Subcommittee and it's looking likely that it will be signed into law by Florida's Governor, Ron DeSantis. 


But it's not the only wildly conservative education initiative that DeSantis has pushed for in the state. In fact, the 'period talk' ban is kind of just the tip of the iceberg. 

The proposed expansion of the so-called 'Don't Say Gay' law (otherwise known as the Parental Rights in Education Act) will see all education around sexuality and gender identity heavily restricted until students reach ninth grade (around 14 to 15 years old). Currently, the law is only in effect for public schools from kindergarten through to third grade. 

There are also other provisions currently being debated that could see teachers banned from addressing students by pronouns that differ from those they were assigned at birth, and prevent school staff from using their own preferred pronouns.

The proposed expansion of the laws has been steeply criticised by LGBTQIA+ rights groups for marginalising young people who may be attempting to come to terms with their gender or sexual identity.

The American Civil Liberty Union of Florida said that the proposed expansion of the 'Don't Say Gay' laws are part of a "concerted effort" to "removed LGBTQ+ people from public life".

Then there's DeSantis' Stop-Woke Act (or Stop Wrongs to Our Kids and Employees Act), which was signed into legislation last year and regulates schools' and businesses' ability to address race and gender.


The act prohibits workplace training or schools teaching that anybody is "inherently racist, sexist or oppressive, whether consciously or unconsciously", as well as preventing them teaching that certain people are privileged or oppressed based on race, gender or national origin.

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The act also bans institutions from teaching that any person must bear "personal responsibility for and must feel guilt, anguish or other forms of psychological distress" over any actions that have been committed in the past by people of the same race, gender or national origin. 

When he first proposed the law in late 2021, DeSantis said Florida Republicans "won't allow Florida tax dollars to be spent teaching kids to hate our country or to hate each other".

Cas Mudde, a professor in the school of public and international affairs at the University of Georgia, wrote in The Guardian that the idea behind the legislation is "simple". 

"If kids are not taught about institutional racism, and the white supremacy it upholds, they won't question it later when they are voters".

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