Hamilton County School Board proposes sports concussion policy among several others

To ensure every coach is following the similar guidelines, the Hamilton County School Board is creating a new sports related concussion policy.

Chad Grabowski says he talks to his football players about head injuries and concussions much more often than his coach did when he was in high school.

"I'm sure I've had many of them when I played we didn't talk about that a whole lot," he said.

Grabowski coaches at Red Bank High School. Now, to ensure every coach is following the similar guidelines, the Hamilton County School Board is creating a new policy.

Assistant Superintendent Lee McDade says it's proposed in an attempt to comply with state law.

Coaches say that the football field is not the only place where concussions can happen.

"Its definitely not just a football thing," Grabowski It's every sport that has some kind of contact. If you are doing the high jump and you fall out of the pit and hit your head you can get a concussion. It can happen anywhere."

The County's proposed policy would require each school's athletic director, coaches and volunteers to go through a training session.

Doctor Bill Heinz with the National Federation of State High School Associations-- the organization that makes the training videos-- says the training can help administrators recognize the signs of a concussion if medical staff isn't around.

"It is essential that coaches, teachers and parents and even the players themselves be aware of the signs and symptoms of concussion," Heinz said.

Graboski's assistant coaches are already certified through the course. He says the course and the new policy outline a step by step procedure to clear players to return to the game, including getting checked out by a medical professional.

"So you are not just clearing these kids to go back out to get hit again and continue having problems," Graboski said.

He says the most important thing is making sure kids know hiding their symptoms is not a sign of toughness.

The concussion policy is one of many that will be discussed Thursday. The board is also creating a policy for dealing with Children in Foster care as well as another for student suicide prevention.

Members will also discuss changing the graduation activities policy. The changes would ban religious activities from graduation ceremonies.

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