Menstrual Questions Dropped From Florida High School Form

Governing group votes down making answers from student-athletes mandatory
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 9, 2023 5:15 PM CST
Menstrual Questions Dropped From Florida High School Form
Democratic Florida Sen. Lauren Book opposed questioning high school athletes about their menstrual history.   (AP Photo/Phil Sears)

Female high school athletes in Florida will no longer undergo official questioning about their menstrual cycles. The governing body of interscholastic sports in the state voted Thursday to drop the four questions from the form sent to schools; athletes will only be asked health questions to ensure they're physically fit to play, Politico reports. Answering menstrual cycle questions on the current form is optional, per CNN, but the Florida High School Athletic Association was considering making it mandatory. The board's vote in the emergency meeting was 14-2.

Almost 900 people wrote to the board in opposition to the questioning, per the Palm Beach Post. Parents, educators, and state legislators objected to students being asked: "How old were you when you had your first menstrual period?" and "How many periods have you had in the past twelve months?" Angry comments included: "This is so out of line … you idiots are sick" and "I thank god I do not have a daughter because I would never allow her to play sports under these standards." Only five states do not ask athletes about their periods; 35 require the answers be submitted to the student's school, and 10 tell athletes not to give the information to their schools.

In addition to calling the questions an invasion of privacy, some opponents were concerned the answers could be used to prosecute students who had an abortion in violation of Florida law. State Senate Democratic leader Lauren Book thanked the board for voting down the "bizarre, outrageous, and inappropriate recommendation" and for "not only soliciting but actually listening to public testimony." Another proposed change remains: Instead of asking only for the student's sex, as it did before, the form asks students to provide their "sex assigned at birth." (More high school sports stories.)

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