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Derry schools adopt new policy on concussions

DERRY - The impact of concussions and head injuries has been big news in collegiate and professional sports, but the efforts to keep athletes safe has extended all the way to the local school districts.

On Tuesday night, the Derry School Board approved a new district policy on head injuries and concussions for student athletes.

"This is a new policy and not a revision of an existing policy," said Superintendent Laura Nelson. "We have a mandate from the state to actually adopt a policy relative to this."

The school board's policy committee met and drafted the policy, which was presented to the board for a first reading on Jan. 8 and approved by the board on Jan. 22.

Under the new policy, the school district must abide by any medical advice provided by a student athlete's health care provider.

"The district shall limit the student athlete's activity as provided by the student's treating health care provider," said Nelson.

If a health care provider determines that a student cannot take part in athletic competition, the district will be bound by that, she said.

"We will not deviate from a health care provider's recommendation," Nelson said.

Board member Dan McKenna, who sits on the policy committee, said he supported the intent of the new policy.

"It sets up a pretty good structure to make sure coaches are informed and educates the parents and the student athletes," he said. "It's a really good program and could help prevent some injuries and keep our student athletes safe."

Nelson said the district has not had any issues with concussion or head injuries for its student athletes.

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