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New law strengthens concussion protocol for Virginia’s student-athletes

Posted on Tuesday, March 5, 2019 at 5:00 am

Even in today’s divided political climate, there are some issues on which lawmakers can wholeheartedly agree. One of them is safety of student athletes.

House Bill 1930, first introduced by Delegate Richard Bell, who represents Virginia’s 20th district, requires the state Board of Education to collaborate with several organizations to update guidelines and policies related to concussions every two years, including the Virginia High School League, Virginia Athletic Trainers’ Association, the Brain Injury Association of Virginia and the Virginia College of Emergency Physicians.

The law also requires individual school divisions to do the same to their individual policies and procedures for identifying and handling suspected concussions in student athletes.

“Concussions can be a serious medical concern and should not be taken lightly,” Bell said. “It is critical that we keep our guidelines up to date to ensure that we protect the health and well-being of our student athletes.”

The bill passed both the House of Delegates and the Virginia State Senate with unanimous support and was signed into law by Gov. Ralph Northam on Feb. 22.

Northam, who introduced and worked to pass the legislation that required schools to establish concussion protocols, said requiring the board of education to update its procedures every two years will increase the effectiveness of the practice by “accounting for new research and enhanced knowledge.”

(Article by Joseph Haney)

This is a partial article. Read the full story in The Central Virginian’s Feb. 28, 2019 issue.

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