For years, the Florida High School Athletic Association (FHSAA) has handed out a form to student-athletes with “optional” questions about their menstrual cycles.
Now, as reported by Jezebel, the FHSAA wants to make those and other questions for the athletes mandatory—and part of the process of determining whether student-athletes can play.
Dr. Michael Haller, a pediatric endocrinologist, told Jacksonville.com, “I don’t see why (school districts) need that access to that type of information … It sure as hell will give me pause to fill it out with my kid.”
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The form, created by the American Academy of Pediatrics, would force the students to answer specific questions, and instead of staying in the possession of their pediatrician, the form would be held by the school.
The Associated Press reports the revised form would include “four mandatory questions about menstruation, including if the student has ever had a period, the age they had their first period, the date of their most recent period and how many periods they’ve had in the past year.”
According to national guidelines for student-athletes, questions regarding menstrual cycles are “essential discussion for female athletes” because period abnormalities could be a sign of “low energy availability, pregnancy, or other gynecologic or medical conditions.”
“I think it is kind of disturbing and an invasion of privacy,” Ruby Robbins, a 16-year-old Miami Beach High volleyball player, told the Miami Herald.
The FHSAA vote on the form comes at the end of the month, and many are wondering about the timing, particularly given Gov. Ron DeSantis’ war on the LGBTQ community with his “Don’t Say Gay” bill, “Stop W.O.K.E.” Act, and efforts to eradicate reproductive rights in the state.
DeSantis has not been opaque in his views on trans female athletes. After a win by a trans woman athlete in the NCAA 500-yard freestyle championship last year, the authoritarian governor declared the runner-up the “rightful winner,” as the athlete was assigned female at birth. He accused the NCAA of attempting to “destroy” women’s sports.
As the Miami Herald reports, FHSAA board members are not appointed by DeSantis. The organization is a private nonprofit. However, DeSantis’ education commissioner, Sen. Manny Diaz Jr., is involved in choosing who those board members are.
The board is made up of 16 people—14 men and two women.
“Nobody should know if I’m on my period unless I tell them,” Mallory McDonald, a Miami Beach High softball player, told the Miami Herald.