The Maryland State Department of Education’s Traumatic Brain Injury/Sports Related Concussion-Task Force will hold a public hearing on the afternoon of October 29.
“The purpose of the hearing is to gather information and testimony from interested citizens on Traumatic Brain Injury/Concussions in interscholastic athletes in Maryland Public Schools,” according to the department. “Topics of interest may include best practices for recognizing concussion signs and symptoms, removal and return to play, parent, coach and student awareness, protective equipment and prevention strategies.”
Speakers, who must be pre-registered, will be given three minutes for oral comments, with no limits placed on written comments.
The public hearing phase is part of an overall process for the task force, which has been meeting since August and will issue a report with recommendations to the State Board of Education in January.
“We want to make sure we at least air out everything and make the report as comprehensive as possible,” Ned Sparks, executive director of the Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association, told the media.
The Maryland General Assembly passed legislation in 2011 (http://mlis.state.md.us/2011rs/billfile/hb0858.htm) that required cooperation across various agencies and departments as well as set in place a requirement that a student athlete suspected of suffering a head injury be removed from play “until he or she has obtained written clearance from a licensed health care professional trained in the evaluation and management of concussions.”