Kids in primary school to be told 'boys can have periods too'
The Brighton & Hove City Council is receiving backlash for a newly approved sex education guidance. In it, they state period talk should be "inclusive of all genders."
The guidance report aims to remove the stigma surrounding periods. It also advises educators on how trans children should be included when it comes to periods.
The report follows another that claimed 40 students in Brighton "do not identify as [the] gender presented at birth." But many think that eight-year-olds will end up being confused.
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The report reads:
"Trans boys and men and non-binary people may have periods."
It directed that students have "bins for used disposable menstrual products [...] provided in all toilets." It also recommends that "students are provided with additional support perhaps from a school nurse."
Tory MP David Davies described the whole thing as "insanity" considering the age of the students.
"Learning about periods is already a difficult subject for children that age, so to throw in the idea girls who believe they are boys also have periods will leave them completely confused."
Regarding the attention given to trans, an advocate for trans people spoke against the idea as well. Transgender Trend campaign group member, Stephanie Davies-Arai, was not in support.
"Girls going through puberty are already having a difficult time. What they should be given is clear language to be able to talk about their bodies and their female biological functions without couching it in politically correct terms."
Julie Bindel, a feminist campaigner, further built on the point:
"To tell impressionable children that boys can also menstruate sidelines girls who should be getting support when they start their periods."
But Brighton & Hove City Council put in their report that "learning about periods is inclusive of all genders, cultures, faiths, and sexual orientations. For example, 'girls and women and others who have periods.' "
In a separate statement, they defended their actions, saying:
"By encouraging effective education on menstruation and puberty, we hope to reduce stigma and ensure no child or young person feels shame in asking for period products inside or outside of school if they need them."
"We believe that it’s important for all genders to be able to learn and talk about menstruation together… Our approach recognizes the fact that some people who have periods are trans or non-binary."
Earlier in the year, the council released a "Trans Inclusion Schools Toolkit" aimed towards improving the way teachers handle gender identity. The toolkit suggested that a non-gendered uniform treatment be used on students.
Back in July, a sex education curriculum was withdrawn amid protest in Canada. The curriculum included gender identity, consent, and social media topics.
The lessons were first implemented in 2015. Ontario Premier Doug Ford canceled them soon after his election. He agreed with the public's opinion that it was age inappropriate.
And last month, one school received tons of backlash for forcing students to wear green bibs as punishment.
Kenton School in Newcastle, UK opted to have misbehaving children pick up litter wearing high-visibility bibs. But parents reacted by calling the plan a form of humiliation.
The head of Office for Standards in Education, Amanda Spielman, showed support for the community service plan. She said she is open to suggestions and is “more than happy to listen to parents’ views.”
The Brighton council might also want to consider getting feedback from parents before implementing the report. At the end of the day, most parents want the best for their child.