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Florida high school board to hold emergency meeting after menstruation question controversy

The Florida High School Athletic Association executive director has recommended a change to what information schools collect about female athletes’ menstruation histories.
 
The FHSAA's executive director has recommended a change to what medical paperwork will be submitted to schools.
The FHSAA's executive director has recommended a change to what medical paperwork will be submitted to schools. [ JORDAN MCPHERSON | Miami Herald ]
Published Feb. 7, 2023|Updated Feb. 7, 2023

The Florida High School Athletic Association will reconsider a controversial proposal that could have required female students to reveal their menstruation history.

Its board of directors will hold an emergency meeting Thursday morning to discuss participation paperwork that recently drew widespread attention. The association’s executive director is recommending that students only submit one page to schools — a page where a medical professional verifies that an athlete is healthy enough to compete, or only able to participate partially. Specific details about a player’s health are not included on that form.

Related: Why female high school athletes may have to reveal menstrual history in Florida

“The intent of this proposal is to provide an updated (examination) form which protects a student-athlete’s privacy while including pertinent medical information a health care provider at a member school would need access to,” the agenda item reads.

The athletic association had been considering the idea of adopting a national form on the issue, which made previously optional questions about menstruation mandatory for female students to answer. Those forms would have been kept at school. That form “has created concerns and questions from parents, school district administrators, school board members, and coaches regarding the health privacy of student-athletes,” the agenda item said.

The move was widely panned on social media with many fearing girls and women would be deterred from participating in sports.

The latest recommendation tries to alleviate that concern by giving schools enough information about an athlete’s health while still protecting their privacy.

Members of the public can submit questions or comments about the proposal to questions@fhsaa.org for board members to consider. The virtual meeting is scheduled for 10:30 a.m. and will be streamed on the FHSAA’s YouTube channel.

Times staff writer Chris O’Donnell contributed to this report.