GAINESVILLE- The Florida High School Athletic Association (FHSAA) called a special meeting in response to backlash from their recommendation to require female student athletes to turn in information about their menstrual periods to schools when they register to participate in sports.
On Feb. 7, FHSAA’s sports medicine advisory committee voted in favor of recommending that the board of the organization adopt a sports registration form that requires female athletes to answer mandatory questions about the date of their first period, the number of weeks between their periods on average, and the date of their most recent menstrual period. The committee also said the student would have to turn over all that medical information to schools, instead of just a signed clearance from their doctor.
Menstruation questions had been FHSAA’s previous forms, but were always marked optional. The new recommendation would make them mandatory.
On the same day the committee made the recommendation, 30 Democratic members of the Florida House of Representatives sent a letter to the FHSAA calling for the removal of the questions, describing them as “highly invasive.”
“No girl should be forced to disclose her bodily functions to someone who is not her mother, father, caretaker, or physician,” read the letter. "There is absolutely no reason for the FHSAA to collect such private information and no reason why the schools need it."
During the special meeting on Feb. 9, the FHSAA board of governors heard various emails from stakeholders who were concerned about the questions, the majority of which objected to the mandatory questions.
“As a father of three daughter who all played middle and high school sports, I really understand the concern of making these questions mandatory,” said Citrus County School Board Member Doug Dodd. “Now if the association were to mandate those questions, require them, I have a real problem with that as a parent.
The board voted 14-2 to remove the questions from their form.