Menstruation questions formally removed from Florida student-athlete forms

FHSAA votes to eliminate controversial questions

ORLANDO, Fla. – A plan to make questions about menstruation mandatory on forms for Florida student-athletes has officially been rescinded after substantial backlash from parents, students and politicians.

The Florida High School Athletic Association formally voted 14 to 2 Thursday to remove the questions from physical forms.

Questions about menstruation had been on the student-athlete forms before, but they were optional and the answers were kept with the doctors.

Last year, the FHSAA’s medical advisory board recommended making the questions mandatory, with schools being able to access the information. The group said making the questions mandatory was consistent with national guidelines for sports physicals developed by several prominent physician groups, including the American Academy of Pediatrics.

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The national guidelines say menstrual history is an “essential discussion for female athletes” because period abnormalities could be a sign of other issues.

But the recommendation led to anger and privacy questions from parents, along with a letter from Florida Democratic lawmakers, asking the board to reject the recommendation.

Now the questions will not be on the forms at all, and most of the physical forms will remain with physicians.

The Florida House Democratic Caucus praised the FHSAA’s decision in a statement Thursday.

“In a time when women’s rights are under attack in the State of Florida, the FHSAA’s decision to propose the invasive and unnecessary menstruation reporting requirement was yet another reminder that we must protect the right to privacy for every single girl,” said Florida House Minority Leader Fentrice Driskell, D-Tampa. “We thank the FHSAA for recognizing the importance in protecting the privacy of our female student-athletes and rescinding this unwanted proposal.”

Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.

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Christie joined the ClickOrlando team in November 2021.