- The fact that this is digital raises more questions,
- “I’m concerned for her future.”
- 5 questions about menstruation.
5 Questions About Menstruation are Asked of Female Athletes in Florida High Schools.
Following criticism from some doctors and parents who argue that it is unnecessary for schools to collect and digitally store such information and that doing so puts students at risk in the post-Roe v. Wade era, a Florida school district is attempting to change a state medical form that asks female student-athletes about their menstrual histories.
According to a district spokesperson, the Palm Beach County School District has requested that the Florida High School Athletic Association change the student-athlete physical evaluation form so that it no longer includes the five optional questions about menstrual history.
The menstruation question is optional, but the district has recently asked to have it removed, according to the spokesperson.
The spokesperson added that the district keeps records for seven years before destroying them. All state school districts have been using and storing the paper form for “a number of years.”
The worries follow Florida’s decision to outlaw abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy, as well as broader worries among abortion rights advocates and specialists about potential applications for digitally stored data on menstruation in light of the expansion of abortion restrictions nationwide.
The fact that this is digital raises more questions,
The optional questions ask students when their first and most recent periods occurred, how long their typical cycles are, how long their longest cycle was, and how many periods they experienced during the course of the year.
The company would need a “valid subpoena,”, in order to provide information to law enforcement. It also mentions that the company must adhere to the federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act because it deals directly with schools.
This law protects the privacy of students’ educational records but allows for exceptions for subpoenas, state and local authorities, and “appropriate officials in cases of health and safety emergencies.”
“All state and federal laws relating to the confidentiality of student records” in addition to “the data privacy standards set by each school district.”
In case of a student-medical athlete’s emergency, the platform gives coaches access to information that may be helpful. Additionally, it “can accommodate profile removal requests,” the spokesperson said.
According to the spokesperson, “the company is able to remove parent login information, as well as any associated athlete profiles, upon request and approval by the school district.”
According to Craig Damon, executive director of the Florida High School Athletic Association, the organisation is required by state law to require potential student-athletes to submit evaluations that take their medical histories into account. He added that Florida parents and students must sign documents granting permission for the release of medical histories “should treatment for illness or injury be necessary.”
When questioned specifically about the association’s refusal to comply with the Palm Beach County school district’s request to have the menstrual history information removed from the physical evaluation form, a spokeswoman for the association did not respond.
Dr. Thresia Gambon, a pediatrician and the president of the Florida Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics, said a student-menstrual athlete’s history can give doctors important information. She noted that irregular menstruation is one of the three symptoms of the female athlete triad, which also includes disordered eating and osteoporosis. This disorder can cause problems with the reproductive system, the bones, and the heart. She claimed, however, that she did not understand why schools required that knowledge.
Menstrual history is crucial, but whether it’s crucial that it’s included in the form is another matter, according to her.
“I’m concerned for her future.”
Yvette Avila, whose daughter plays softball and attends a middle school in Palm Beach County, said she and her daughter would prefer not to have the district record the girl’s menstrual information.
When you’re in middle school, “nobody wants period information on any kind of document,” she said.
Avila is thinking about homeschooling her child.
She continued, “Of course, I’m concerned about her future in terms of, like, what are they doing with that.”
The Palm Beach County School District’s spokesperson said officials “will continue to explore other options, such as lobbying for revisions to this form and/or limiting the information provided to schools to only the physician’s approval or disapproval of the student-medical athlete’s clearance.” They also asked that questions about students’ menstrual histories be removed.