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Should High Schools End Football Teams in Response to Threat of Brain Injuries?

Should High Schools End Football Teams in Response to Threat of Brain Injuries?

This season is proving to be one of the deadliest for high school football after a sixth high school football player died from injuries sustained during practice or game time this season alone.

It's not new news that high school football is a dangerous sport and can be counterproductive to learning; a survey from earlier this year from the Children's National Health System revealed that students who suffered from concussions are seriously concerned about their academic performance in the following weeks of recovery.

The survey looked at students aged 5-18 in the 28 days of recovery from concussions and found that sufferers were taking longer to get homework done, had difficulty focusing in the classroom and felt more tired throughout the day. 

And for the six students who have died from playing football this season alone, they won't have the opportunity to overcome learning difficulties sustained during practice or game time.

This raises the questions for parents: Should you let your child play football?

And the question for educators: Should your school have a football team?

According to CNN, the reason for a higher number of high school fatalities and injuries compared to college or pro football is because of more players (1.2 million children play high school football versus the 100,000 players that comprise college and professional football,) a lower skill level due to age, a shortage of full-time athletic trainers at practices and games and therefore a lack of trained coaches identifying injuries and allowing players to keep playing.

Earlier this month, Robert M. Hoatson, former high school principal, coach and athletic director, wrote an opinion piece for NJ.com denouncing the sport in high schools.

"Football has become too dangerous. Training programs are bulking kids up to an extreme degree, steroids and other growth enhancers are rampantly available and technology and other factors have speeded up the game to a frightening level. What once was a 'contact' sport has become a 'collision' sport, and we know what happens in collisions: one or both parties end up with serious damages, including permanent brain trauma," he said.

This season's six deceased players Cam'ron Matthews, Rod Williams, Kenney Bui, Evan Murray, Ben Hamm and Tyrell Cameron are the unfortunate example of this.

Let us know what you think: Do you think football should be banned in high schools? Users with access: take our poll.

Article by Nicole Gorman, Education World Contributor

10/19/2015

Should high schools end football teams in response to risk of injury- fatal or not?

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