Georgia Approves New Bill On Concussion Safety

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By Eames Yates
March 27, 2013

Valdosta, GA -

More than 3 million. That's how many sports-related concussions occur in the U.S. every year.

Valdosta High School Football Head Coach Rance Gillespie said "we have seen them, we've experienced them here. I've had one myself as a player."

Jay O'Brien is Valdosta High School's Athletic Trainer. He said "like an egg inside of a jar and then you shake it. And that egg is the brain and when it bounces around inside the jar that's kind of like the brain bouncing around in the skull."

Georgia's senate passed House Bill 284 on Tuesday. It says that any student athlete who shows signs of a concussion will immediately be taken out of practice or games until they're cleared by a doctor.

Coach Gillespie went on to say "it's recieved a lot of emphasis lately becuase of some things that have been going on in the NFL and obviously that has trickled down to the high school level."

It's not just football. there were roughly ten documented cases of concussions at Valdosta High School during the last academic year from all the sports combined.

The bill applies to any student in a public or private school grades K through 12. As for Valdosta High... even with the bill passed it's business as usual.

Coach Gillespie said "that's already implemented here. we don't release a kid once he is symptomatic of a concussion, we don't release that kid to play until he has been released by a doctor."

The bill has already been passed by Georgia's house of representatives. It now goes to Governor Nathan Deal for his signature to make it law.

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