TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — Parents are reacting after the Florida High School Athletic Association decided to remove those mandatory questions about menstruation on student athlete physical forms.
The board held an emergency meeting Thursday morning to discuss those questions. They were added back in October after a recommendation from a committee for the governing board to require athletes to report their menstruation yearly.
At the center of the change, Tallahassee mother Jenn Meale Poggie said she is ecstatic after the emergency called meeting by the FHSAA voted 14-2 to remove the four mandatory questions on athlete menstruation.
"When I told her she was so excited," said Poggie. "I can't wait to see her after school today and to let her know that she's not required to disclose that information that had made her so upset and compelled me to launch a national campaign."
Poggie launched a campaign called privacy period in an effort to get those questions removed, questions Poggie say was too personal.
- When was your first menstrual period?
- How much time do you usually have from the start of one period to the start of another?
- How many periods have you had in the last year?
Poggie has three daughters one of which is a 16-year-old high school athlete. She said when her daughter initially heard she would have to disclose that information it upset her.
"They should not have to disclose that information on a form that would go to the athletic department. I do understand that today even with the removal of the questions the first three pages will remain with the physician and parents which I also think is the right thing to do," Poggie said.
Richard Finlayson is the private school representative for section one on the FHSAA. He said he believes the questions are important for healthcare providers to be asking and the information should stay with them.
"I think that should be left in the hands of the experts, the medical providers and those families trust those medical providers to provide them with care and make sure they're physically able and healthy enough to participate," said Finlayson.
He said the Sports Medicine Advisory Committee often makes recommendations to the board with students in mind.
"Their intent is to always do what's best for student athletes from a health perspective," Finlayson explained.
The FHSAA executive director, Craig Damon, released a statement following the meeting saying:
"Thank you to the Sports Medicine Advisory Committee and all other stakeholders who provided insight which resulted in reaching the best decision for the student-athletes in the state of Florida."
While the FHSAA voted to remove the menstrual questions, they will keep the section that asks 'sex assigned at birth' on the application. Prior versions only asked for the 'sex' of an individual. Completion of this medical history form is required to be able to participate in any organized sport in the state.