Northam signs legislation to improve the safety of student-athletes

ralph northamGov. Ralph Northam today signed legislation designed to support and improve the safety of student-athletes across the Commonwealth of Virginia.

House Bill 1930, introduced by Del. Richard Bell, requires the Board of Education to collaborate with stakeholders to biennially update its guidelines on policies related to concussions. These policies are intended to inform and educate coaches, student-athletes, and parents and guardians of the nature, risks, and effects of concussions as well as the criteria for removal and return to play.

Additionally, each local school division is required to biennially update its policies and procedures regarding the identification and handling of suspected concussions in student-athletes.

“As a state senator, I introduced and passed legislation directing the Board of Education to develop these guidelines and requiring local school divisions to create policies for identifying and handling suspected concussions,” said Gov. Northam. “Del. Bell’s legislation will strengthen this practice by requiring the Board’s guidelines and divisions’ procedures to be updated biennially, which will help account for new research and enhanced knowledge.”

House Bill 1930 passed the General Assembly with unanimous support.

“Concussions can be a serious medical concern and should not be taken lightly,” said Bell. “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 and that is what HB 1930 aims to do.”

This bill requires the Board of Education to collaborate with a number of stakeholders to update its guidelines, including the Virginia High School League, the Virginia Department of Health, the Virginia Athletic Trainers’ Association, the Virginia Physical Therapy Association, representatives of the Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters and the Children’s National Health System, the Brain Injury Association of Virginia, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Virginia College of Emergency Physicians, the Virginia Academy of Family Physicians, the Virginia Association of School Nurses, and a representative from a non-interscholastic youth sports program.


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