‘Abbott Elementary’ Star Lisa Ann Walter Slams Florida Book Ban: Teachers Aren’t Trusted ‘But They Want Them to Carry Guns’ (Video)
Lisa Ann Walter may play a fictional second grade teacher on “Abbott Elementary,” but that doesn’t mean she’s not concerned about what’s happening in real world schools — especially those in Florida, where books are being banned all over the state on a regular basis.
Walter stars in ABC’s hit series as Melissa Schemmenti, a woman who is blunt but always has the best interest of her kids at heart. And, during a recent appearance on WrapWomen’s “UnWrapped” Podcast, she was just as blunt about the current hurdles teachers are facing in Florida.
“They don’t trust them to pick their own books, but they want them to carry guns,” Walter said.
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The actress then went on to talk about the potential ban on teaching elementary students about periods, something she says isn’t that much different than the censorship that happens in Hollywood.
“There is so much shame that goes along with how we move through our lives as women,” Walter said. “We don’t often on television talk about menopause. Because it’s taboo, because women are valued for being beautiful. And being maternal, you know, smart and funny… We sell that in all of our, our movies and our shows and in life and advertising. We don’t want to discuss how you get to be a mother, apparently, because the periods would be part of it. Yeah. But that’s messy.”
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For some women who develop early, Walter feels it’s especially important that schools normalize discussions around periods and reproduction. She recalled a classmate of her daughter’s who was going through puberty and got her period at 11. Walter found out her daughter and her friends were bullying this girl and gave them a stern talking to. “What’s going on is biological… she’s developing because her body is changing,” Walter told her daughter. “Boys are giving her attention because she’s the first one in the school with boobs, and you are not going to keep that shame on her.”
Whether it’s on ABC’s “Abbott Elementary” or in real life, Walter might be the teacher we all need.
“UnWrapped” is a podcast produced by WrapWomen, dedicated to empowering the next generation of women in media and entertainment. Each episode “unwraps” topics from entertainment news and industry trends to career advice, Hollywood headlines and more.
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