Gfeller-Waller Concussion Awareness Act


Implications and Considerations for Schools


The Gfeller-Waller Concussion Awareness Act was drafted and implemented to protect the safety of student-athletes in North Carolina and was signed into law on June 16, 2011 by Governor Beverly Purdue. There are three major areas of focus in the law and these include: education, emergency action and postconcussion protocol implementation, and clearance/return to play or practice following concussion. A copy of the Gfeller-Waller Concussion Awareness Act is available here (PDF - 74 kb). Each school should maintain documentation that they are in compliance with the law.

This web site contains information and materials to be used by high schools and middle schools and medical professionals to comply with the law. At the top of the page are links for each major requirement stated in the law. This website includes forms, materials, and examples for schools to enable them to implement these changes into their schools or practices.

The Gfeller-Waller Concussion Awareness Act Checklist (item 1 below) contains a checklist to help guide your school through the compliance process. You can also read and print each of the individual items of the resource packet by clicking on the links at the top of this page. If you or someone at your school has questions about the Gfeller-Waller Concussion Awareness Act, please email

Below is a list of all Gfeller-Waller Concussion Awareness Act materials. Direct links to these materials for ease of reading and printing are also provided.

  1. 1)Gfeller-Waller Law Compliance Information and Checklist Click here

2) Student-Athlete & Parent/Legal Custodian Education & Statement Form Click here

3) School Representative (parent/coach/volunteer/school nurse/first responder) Education & Statement Form Click here

4) Guidelines for an Emergency Action Plan Click here

5) Sample Emergency Action Plan Click here

6) Postconcussion Protocol Click here

  1. 7)Gfeller-Waller/NCHSAA Student-Athlete Concussion Management Resources Click here

  2. 8)Student-Athlete & Parent/Legal Custodian Education & Statement Form (Spanish Version) Click here

  1. 9)Concussion Monitoring and Management in NC Public Schools - NEW

In October 2015, the NC State Board of Education approved policy HRS-E-001, titled Return-to-Learn After Concussion. This education policy includes guidelines for safe and appropriate return to the educational environment for ALL students post-concussion. Although, this policy includes student-athletes protected under the Gfeller-Waller Concussion Awareness Act, it is further reaching. HRS-E-001 includes requirements for safe return to school for any student in NC public schools who sustains a mild Traumatic Brain Injury (mTBI), more commonly referred to as a concussion. This policy is linked to the State Board of Education Strategic Plan under Goal 5 (Every student is healthy, safe, and responsible), Objective 2 (Promote healthy and active lifestyles for students). The requirements of HRS-E-001 became effective at the onset of the 2016-2017 academic year.  At this time, all NC public schools are to implement these requirements. The policy, along with information and resources designed to support schools and districts in their implementation are below:

  1. NC State Board of Education Policy HRS-E-001 – Return-to-Learn After Concussion 

  2. Guidelines for implementation Click here

  3. Parent information Click here




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The Gfeller-Waller Law web site was last modified: July 20, 2016