Menendez, Pascrell introduce bill to help protect students from head injuries on the ball field

Menendez, Pascrell introduce bill to help protect students from head injuries on the ball field


By:  Jonathan D. Salant
NJ.com


Legislation to help secondary schools treat students with sports-related concussions was introduced today by U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez and U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell Jr.

The bill would create a five-year program to provide grants for states to help school districts in diagnosis and treatment of concussions incurred on the field of play. The program would be funded at $5 million for the first year.

"No matter what sport an athlete is playing or at what level he or she is competing, the risk of head injuries is prevalent," Menendez (D-N.J.) said. "It's our responsibility to protect our young athletes and give their parents, coaches, teachers and trainers peace of mind when it comes to safety in sports.

Menendez and Pascrell (D-9th Dist.) have sponsored similar legislation in the past following the death of Montclair High School football player Ryne Dougherty in October 2008. Dougherty collapsed on the field during a junior varsity game after being cleared to play despite suffering a concussion in an earlier practice. His family sued the high school and board of education and settled out of court in 2013 for $2.8 million.

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