Florida schools will no longer ask student-athletes to share their menstrual histories for high school sports, but will ask them their «sex at birth.»

On Thursday, the board of directors of the Florida High School Athletic Association voted 14-2 in an emergency meeting to adopt a proposal removing questions about a student-athlete’s menstrual history from the state’s pre-participation physical evaluation form, after months of opposition from parents, doctors and advocates.

In it updated formThe athletic association also added a field where students must indicate their «sex at birth.»

Until now, the way, which was last update in 2016 — asked about the gender of the student-athletes and included five optional questions about their menstrual history.

Those questions about menstruation became the subject of controversy after the association’s sports medicine committee last month recommended that the questions be mandatory, according to The Palm Beach Post. Additionally, the Palm Beach County School District announced that student-athletes can submit the form digitally through sports management software company Aktivate. The Palm Beach Post reported. but the platform Privacy Policyand federal lawcould require you to turn over the data to legal authorities or other officials if they have a valid subpoena.

Some parents and critics argued that requesting menstruation information from students and storing it digitally would violate their privacy, particularly at a time of heightened debate and concern over regulations relating to women’s bodies following the overturning of Roe v. Wade.

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The new form does not ask about gender identity, which may differ from the student’s sex assigned at birth, nor does the earlier version.

The change to «sex assigned at birth» was not addressed at Thursday’s meeting.

How the new form will work

Florida’s newly adopted form will go into effect this spring, according to Ryan Harrison, a public relations specialist for the athletic association. He added that «the Aktivate conversation is still active and will likely be discussed further.»

Instead of asking student athletes about their periods, the new form requires them to fill out questions about their medical, surgical and emotional history. Those pages will be kept by a health care provider, parent or guardian, not by the school.

A page detailing a student’s medical eligibility to play sports, also without menstruation questions, but with the «assigned sex at birth» question, to be completed by the student-athlete or their parent or guardian and submitted to the school .

This page may also be completed by a health care provider if a student athlete is referred for further medical evaluation prior to receiving clearance to play sports.

The new formulary only partially aligns with pediatrician guidelines

Florida’s new politics, according to their athletic association boardaims to «provide an updated PPE form that protects the privacy of a student-athlete while including pertinent medical information that a health care provider at a member school would need to access.»

The new formulary only partially adheres to the American Academy of Pediatrics. Suggested Physical Assessment Form for Student-Athletes.

The academy says responses on the form should not be shared with schools, so Florida’s policy now follows that guideline. But the academy’s suggested form to be shared with a doctor includes questions about menstruation and also asks about a student-athlete’s gender identity and her sex at birth.

At least 44 states currently require or optionally ask student athletes about their periods, according to an analysis. made by LGBTQ sports news site Outsports.

Harrison said the «sex at birth» change on Florida’s formulary «aligns» with the state’s Women’s Sports Equity Act, passed in 2021, which prohibits transgender athletes from playing on sports teams consistent with their identity. of genre.

Complaints about a ‘breach of privacy’

Before the vote at Thursday’s meeting, a Florida athletic association official read emails the group had received from the public urging it to remove questions related to menstruation from its form. Some argued that the questions were «intrusive» and constituted a «breach of privacy». Other opponents feared that the prompts could be used to target trans and non-binary athletes, though no one seemed to address the additional «sex assigned at birth» question.

Some public comments were hostile toward board members, suggesting they wanted to police young women’s periods or prevent some students from participating in sports.

“Nothing could be further from the truth, that we are trying to disrupt girls’ participation in schools,” said board member John Gerdes, who noted that 129,000 girls participated in high school sports in the state last year. . (The organization did not provide statistics on transgender and nonbinary participation in high school sports in Florida.)

Several board members said they didn’t want their own daughters, who are student athletes, to have to share their menstrual history on the forms.

The doctors say that while the menstrual history provides important information for physicians, including, for example, a patient’s risk of triad of female athletesa disorder that can cause reproductive, bone, and cardiovascular problems; schools are not required to collect such information.

«Having a menstrual history is very important; whether it’s very important to be on that form is a different question,» Dr. Thresia Gambon, president of the Florida Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics, previously told NBC News.

Jenn Meale Poggie, a Florida mother of three, said she was happy with Thursday’s decision, calling questions about menstrual history «a complete violation of privacy.»