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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. Each school should maintain documentation that they are in compliance with the law.

This web site contains links for materials to be used by high schools and middle schools and medical professionals to comply with the law. In the navigation bar to the left, are links for each major requirement stated in the law.

The Gfeller-Waller Concussion Awareness Act information at the website below will help guide your school through the compliance process. If you or someone at your school has questions about the Gfeller-Waller Concussion Awareness Act, you can email Janna Fonseca at the North Carolina High School Athletic Association, NCHSAA, or the Matthew Gfeller Center.

Links to Gfeller-Waller Concussion Awareness Act materials from the NCHSAA

Links to Concussion Monitoring and Management in NC Public Schools

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. This is the policy, along with information and resources designed to support schools and districts in their implementation:

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