DeSantis wants to expand “Don’t Say Gay”, bar discussion of menstruation before 6th grade – National & International News – THU 24Mar2023
DeSantis wants to expand “Don’t Say Gay”, bar discussion of menstruation before 6th grade.
Israelis protest passage of law shielding Netanyahu from corruption charges.
DeSantis wants to expand “Don’t Say Gay”, bar discussion of menstruation before 6th grade
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is looking to extend the state’s “Don’t Say Gay” policy and place other curbs on what can and can’t be discussed in schools. Currently, the “Don’t Say Gay” policy (or the Parental Rights in Education Act as it’s officially known) bars any discussion of LGBT or gender identity issues up to 4th grade. DeSantis now wants the policy to cover all grades K-12.
This bill is part of a wider push in Republican states that target the LGBT community, supposedly in the interest of “protecting” children. Tennessee recently banned drag shows from public spaces or anywhere where children might be. But the wording of the law is so broad it basically criminalizes any person from dressing in clothes that reflect a gender other than that assigned to them at birth. Other states have moved to ban gender affirming care such as hormone treatments for trans youth, while others want to ban it even for adults.
Republican states have also seen a record number of books banned from school and municipal libraries. Some of these books feature LGBT characters or topics, while others feature characters who are non-white. This has even extended to books about Civil Rights leaders.
But DeSantis, who is contemplating a run for President, is trying to position himself at the forefront of the “anti-Woke” movement. Ironically, the right has often criticized social progressives for pursuing “cancel culture”, denouncing any public figure who doesn’t share their values or who doesn’t act consistently with them. DeSantis and likeminded politicians have decided to remedy cancel culture with state-sponsored censorship and oppression of any person who doesn’t share their values.
No discussion of menstruation before 6th grade?
Additionally, Republican legislators, with DeSantis’ backing, are formulating a bill that would outlaw any discussion of menstruation before 6th grade. Most girls begin menstruation around 12 or 13 years of age, but some start as young as 9. Democratic state representative Ashley Gantt raised fears that the law would discourage teachers from discussing what is happening with their own bodies.
“Imagine a little girl in fourth grade, going to the bathroom and finding blood in her panties and thinking that she is dying,” Gantt said. “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.”
Gantt asked her Republican colleague Stan McClain, who proposed the legislation to clarify this point, “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?”
“It would,” McClain responded. McClain’s bill would also bar any discussion of sexually transmitted diseases or any other sexual health topics before 6th grade. He says the goal is to standardize sex education in the state and give parents more control over what their children are learning in school.
Israelis protest passage of law shielding Netanyahu from corruption charges
At least 75 people have been arrested in protests against the passage of the first of a raft of new laws that will drastically reduce the power of the judiciary. The law passed today essentially shields Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu from the numerous corruption and bribery charges against him.
Effective today, Israel’s attorney general cannot declare Netanyahu unfit for office, even if he’s using his position to overturn his criminal charges. The law passed in the Knesset (Israel’s parliament) by 61 votes to 47, the minimum majority required.
Netanyahu is backed by a coalition of far-right Jewish nationalist parties, some of whom have members with prior convictions for hate crimes. Ultimately, Netanyahu and his nationalist coalition also want to strip the court of its power to strike down any law passed by the Knesset that is overly discriminatory or which violates the civil rights of any person or group.
Western ally nations of Israel, including the US, as well as several international Jewish groups have called on Netanyahu and the coalition to compromise on the reforms, fearing that they will upend Israel’s system of checks and balances. Critics of the law have called on Netanyahu to pause passage of the bills until after the upcoming Passover holiday. However, the coalition seems determined to ram the reforms through as soon as possible.
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