FHSAA wavers on menstruation questions for female high school athletes

A roundup of Florida education news from around the state
A banner for the FHSAA 2022 girls' basketball state championship in Lakeland, Florida.
A banner for the FHSAA 2022 girls' basketball state championship in Lakeland, Florida. [ JORDAN MCPHERSON | Miami Herald ]
Published Feb. 8|Updated Feb. 8

The big story: There’s been an uproar across Florida over the personal information female high schools student athletes are asked to submit each year to participate in their sports.

The concern revolved around questions relating to girls’ menstrual cycles. The state’s high school sports governing body was discussing making the items, which have been optional, mandatory to report to schools.

The pushback over privacy issues has been fierce. Now the FHSAA has called an emergency meeting to consider how it wants to proceed. It appears to be backing off. Read more here. More from the Palm Beach Post.

As the debate continues, some medical professionals have weighed in to say that cycle irregularities don’t affect a girl’s ability to play sports, the Miami Herald reports.

Hot topics

Teaching: Four new Hillsborough County teachers talked about how difficult the job is, and why they love it. • The American Federation of Teachers awarded grants to the Pinellas and Leon county school districts to help them attract and retain teachers, Florida Politics reports. • The Sumter County school district is seeking ways to fill a growing number of vacancies, the Villages Daily Sun reports. • The Broward County School Board approved raises up to 5% for teachers and staff, the Miami Herald reports.

Superintendents: A veteran Pasco County school principal announced his candidacy to become the district’s superintendent in 2024. Pasco is the largest district in the nation to elect its superintendent. • The Broward County School Board picked an outside education consultant to serve as interim superintendent, the Miami Herald reports. It agreed to a $268,000 severance package with ousted superintendent Vickie Cartwright, the Herald reports. • The Sarasota County School Board appointed the district human resources director as interim superintendent until it can permanently replace Brennan Asplen, who the board ousted, the Herald-Tribune reports.

Instructional materials: Florida’s approach to restricting instructional materials is affecting curriculum and materials nationwide, Education Week reports.

Diversity: Florida Republican leaders pushed for more diversity programs as recently as 2020. Now they’re trying to get rid of them, the USA Today Florida Network reports. • The University of South Florida halted its effort to hire a chief diversity officer amid concerns whether the state will continue to fund such positions.

The DeSantis agenda: Some political observers say Gov. Ron DeSantis has set himself apart from other national Republican leaders with his focus on education issues. Here are 10 times DeSantis made an impact on public education.

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Choice: Some Florida counties are better prepared to offer private school options to students than others, Florida Phoenix reports.

Book challenges: The Sarasota County School Board will require students to get parent permission to check out a book about anti-racism from school libraries, the Herald-Tribune reports. Some people pushed to get the book pulled completely out of the schools. • About 70 Flagler County residents turned out to seek positions on school district committees tasked with reviewing challenged books, Flagler Live reports. • The St. Johns County school district announced it would remove 23 books after a review, and that dozens more titles are under scrutiny, WJXT reports. • National media continue to pay attention to this issue. The latest come from The New Yorker and MSN.

Other school news

A Leon County middle school will require school uniforms in the fall. It’s the first middle school in the district to do so, the Tallahassee Democrat reports.

The Lee County school district is revising its student enrollment model. It’s setting up a “proximity plan” that takes into account where students live in relation to their schools, WFTX reports.

The Flagler County school district is considering whether to have armed employees in addition to resource officers. More than 80% of staffers said they weren’t interested, Flagler Live reports.

Tallahassee action ... A Senate committee advanced legislation to require schools teach students about safe use of social media, Florida Politics reports. • A bill to allow charter school students to play sports at private high schools advanced out of its first Senate committee, Florida Politics reports. • In the House, the Education Quality subcommittee meets at 9 a.m. The Higher Education Appropriations subcommittee meets at 11:30 a.m. And the Education and Employment Committee meets at 2 p.m. to discuss name-image-likeness legislation. • In the Senate, the Postsecondary Education committee meets at 9:30 a.m.

From the police blotter ... A Hillsborough County high school teacher was arrested on accusations of engaging in sexual activity with a student. • A “significant” bomb threat forced the evacuation of a Manatee County high school, the Bradenton Herald reports.

Don’t miss a story. Here’s a link to yesterday’s roundup.

Before you go ... “Dogs and cats living together! Mass hysteria!”

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