SENATE EDUCATION COMMITTEE

 

STATEMENT TO

 

SENATE, No. 757

 

with committee amendments

 

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

 

DATED: †MARCH 3, 2016

 

†††† The Senate Education Committee favorably reports Senate Bill No. 757 with committee amendments.

†††† As amended, this bill provides that a student enrolled in a school district who sustains a concussion must receive an evaluation by a physician or other licensed health care provider trained in the evaluation and management of concussions and written clearance from one of these physicians in order to return to school.† In the event that the physician provides notice that the student requires restrictions or limitations, the school district 504 team must immediately implement the restrictions or limitations and notify all teachers and staff who have contact with the student of the restrictions or limitations.† The school districtís 504 team, in consultation with the physician who provided notice, would promptly identify the manner in which the restrictions or limitations would be provided to the student during recovery and the need for the continuation or adjustment of the restrictions or limitations, and to determine the duration of the restrictions or limitations.

†††† The bill also provides that a student enrolled in a school district who sustains a concussion is prohibited from engaging in any physical activity at school including, but not limited to, recess, physical education, or intramural sports.† The student may not participate in any physical activity until he is evaluated by a physician or other licensed health care provider trained in the evaluation and management of concussions and he receives written clearance from the physician to participate.

†††† The amendments to the bill provide that the person conducting the evaluation on a public school student who has sustained a concussion must be a physician or other licensed health care provider trained in the evaluation and management of concussions.† The amendments also provide that only a physician trained in the evaluation and management of concussions may provide written clearance in order for the student to return to school or return to physical activity at school.† These amendments conform the provisions of this bill to a current provision of law, section 4 of P.L.2010, c.94 (C.18A:40-41.4), regarding the type of health care provider who may evaluate student athletes who have sustained concussions while participating in interscholastic sports programs or cheerleading programs.

†††† The amendments also: eliminate the definition for the term "licensed health care professional" which is no longer used in the bill; and specifically include intramural sports as one of the types of physical activity at school from which a student who has sustained a concussion will be prohibited from engaging, until being evaluated and receiving clearance to participate.

††††† This bill was pre-filed for introduction in the 2016-2017 session pending technical review.† As reported, the bill includes the changes required by technical review, which has been performed.