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Florida Don’t Say Period Bill may Cause Young Girls to Feel Shameful About Their Periods 

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UFL chapter.

There is nothing shameful about getting your period

Have you heard of Florida’s “Don’t Say Period” bill? It’s a controversial piece of proposed legislation restricting teachers from discussing the topic of menstruation with their students. The bill proposed by Florida State Representative Stan McClain has raised concerns among educators, health professionals, and women’s rights advocates who fear it will negatively impact young girls experiencing the change.

According to The Guardian, McCalin defends the bill by claiming it to be “a way to make sex education more uniform statewide and give parents more leverage over curricula.”

Menstruation is a natural process that affects half of the world’s population. However, it’s still considered a taboo topic in many cultures. Unfortunately, this stigma has been perpetuated by lawmakers in some parts of the United States, including in Florida.

According to Global News, this Republican-led bill will likely be signed into law by the current Gov. Ron DeSantis. If passed into law, the bill would prohibit the discussion of menstruation until the 6th Grade. Therefore, if young girls experience their menstrual cycle while in 4th or 5th Grade, which is quite common, they would be forbidden to discuss such. 

The “Don’t Say Period” bill prohibits teachers from providing students with information regarding the use of personal hygiene products and instructs what course of action they should take. 

In other words, teachers cannot explicitly discuss menstruation or the use of menstrual products, such as pads or tampons, with their students.

Supporters of the bill argue that it’s necessary to protect children from “inappropriate” information and prevent teachers from promoting particular menstrual products. Republican lawmakers claim that the bill will allow parents to have better control of what their children learn at school, according to The Guardian.  

However, critics argue that the bill is unnecessary and harmful. Menstruation is a natural and essential part of the human reproductive system, and young girls should be educated about it in a supportive and informative way.

Many young girls experience anxiety and confusion when they first start menstruating. Unfortunately, a lack of education and support can make this experience even more difficult. Teachers can play an essential role in providing accurate and reliable information about menstruation and creating a safe and supportive environment for girls to discuss their concerns and questions.

The bill may further stigmatize the topic of menstruation and thus have detrimental effects on young girls’ mental health. 

This can lead to feelings of embarrassment, anxiety, and confusion among young girls experiencing the change. Lack of education and support can also lead to misinformation and harmful practices, such as using unsanitary materials to manage periods.

Moreover, the bill may disproportionately affect girls from low-income families who may not have access to menstrual products or the information they need to manage their periods. Like many other states, Florida has a “period poverty” problem where many girls and women cannot afford menstrual products. One in six women and girls between the age of 12 and 44 live below the Federal Poverty Line (FPL). 

By restricting teachers from discussing menstruation and menstrual products, the bill may further exacerbate this problem and create more barriers to accessing hygiene problems.

There is a need to continue fighting against period stigma and promote menstrual education and access for all. Let’s ensure that young girls experiencing the change are supported, informed, and empowered.

I am a second-year English and Political Science major at UF. I hope to inspire readers by writing and providing useful information. I love to read fiction and write about current events.