HOUSE BILL 180
52nd legislature - STATE OF NEW MEXICO - second session, 2016
RELATING TO STUDENT ATHLETE BRAIN INJURIES; PROVIDING FOR ADMINISTRATIVE APPEALS FROM CERTAIN NONELIGIBILITY DETERMINATIONS BASED ON BRAIN INJURY.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF NEW MEXICO:
SECTION 1. Section 22-13-31 NMSA 1978 (being Laws 2010, Chapter 96, Section 1) is amended to read:
"22-13-31. BRAIN INJURY--PROTOCOLS TO BE USED BY COACHES FOR BRAIN INJURIES RECEIVED BY STUDENTS IN SCHOOL ATHLETIC ACTIVITIES--APPEALS--TRAINING OF COACHES--INFORMATION TO BE PROVIDED TO COACHES, STUDENT ATHLETES AND STUDENT ATHLETES' PARENTS OR GUARDIANS.--
A. A coach shall not allow a student athlete to participate in a school athletic activity on the same day that the student athlete:
(1) exhibits signs, symptoms or behaviors consistent with a brain injury after a coach, a school official or a student athlete reports, observes or suspects that a student athlete exhibiting these signs, symptoms or behaviors has sustained a brain injury; or
(2) has been diagnosed with a brain injury.
B. The mandatory same-day prohibition required by Subsection A of this section is final and not subject to appeal, and no injunction, writ of mandamus or other legal or equitable court process shall enjoin that prohibition.
[B.] C. A coach may allow a student athlete who has been prohibited from participating in a school athletic activity pursuant to Subsection A of this section to participate in a school athletic activity no sooner than one week after the student athlete has received a brain injury and only after the student athlete:
(1) no longer exhibits any sign, symptom or behavior consistent with a brain injury; and
(2) receives a medical release from a licensed health care professional.
D. A student athlete aggrieved by the mandatory prohibition in Subsection C of this section may, as an exclusive remedy, appeal the underlying brain-injury determination made pursuant to Subsection A of this section to the director of the New Mexico activities association as prescribed by rules promulgated pursuant to Subsection E of this section. In an appeal, the director is acting in the service of the department in an official capacity. No fee shall be charged for the appeal. The decision of the director is final. No court has jurisdiction over a brain-injury determination until the director has entered a decision. If the director's decision is that no brain injury occurred or that after one week from the date of the brain injury the student athlete no longer exhibits any sign, symptom or behavior consistent with a brain injury or has received a medical release from a licensed health care professional, the prohibition shall be lifted.
E. The New Mexico activities association shall promulgate rules providing for the appeal allowed in Subsection D of this section. The appeal process shall be designed to give a student athlete a timely review of a brain-injury determination so that an adequate remedy is available if the student athlete prevails on the appeal.
[C.] F. Each school district shall ensure that each coach participating in school athletic activities in the school district receives training provided pursuant to Paragraph (1) of Subsection [D] G of this section.
[D.] G. The New Mexico activities association shall consult with the brain injury advisory council and school districts to promulgate rules to establish:
(1) protocols and content consistent with current medical knowledge for training each coach participating in school athletic activities to:
(a) understand the nature and risk of brain injury associated with athletic activity;
(b) recognize signs, symptoms or behaviors consistent with a brain injury when a coach suspects or observes that a student athlete has received a brain injury;
(c) understand the need to alert appropriate medical professionals for urgent diagnosis or treatment; and
(d) understand the need to follow medical direction for proper medical protocols; and
(2) the nature and content of brain injury information forms and educational materials for, and the means of providing these forms and materials to, coaches, student athletes and student athletes' parents or guardians regarding the nature and risk of brain injury resulting from athletic activity, including the risk of continuing or returning to athletic activity after a brain injury.
[E.] H. At the beginning of each academic year or participation in school athletic activities, a school district shall provide a brain injury information form created pursuant to Subsection [D] G of this section to a student athlete and the student athlete's parent or guardian. The school district shall receive signatures on the brain injury information form from the student athlete and the student athlete's parent or guardian before permitting the student athlete to begin or continue participating in school athletic activities for that academic year.
[F.] I. As used in this section:
(1) "academic year" means any consecutive period of two semesters, three quarters or other comparable units commencing with the fall term each year;
(2) "brain injury" means a body-altering physical trauma to the brain, skull or neck caused by, but not limited to, blunt or penetrating force, concussion, diffuse axonal injury, hypoxia-anoxia or electrical charge;
(3) "school athletic activity" means a sanctioned middle school, junior high school or senior high school function that the New Mexico activities association regulates;
(4) "student athlete" means a middle school, junior high school or senior high school student who engages in, is eligible to engage in or seeks to engage in a school athletic activity; and
(5) "licensed health care professional" means:
(a) a practicing physician or physician assistant licensed pursuant to the Medical Practice Act;
(b) a practicing osteopathic physician licensed pursuant to Chapter 61, Article 10 NMSA 1978;
(c) a practicing certified nurse practitioner licensed pursuant to the Nursing Practice Act;
(d) a practicing osteopathic physician's assistant licensed pursuant to the Osteopathic Physicians' Assistants Act;
(e) a practicing psychologist licensed pursuant to the provisions of the Professional Psychologist Act; or
(f) a practicing athletic trainer licensed pursuant to the provisions of the Athletic Trainer Practice Act."
- 6 -