West Deptford Board of Education recently revised policies to include cheerleading with other interscholastic sports for the purposes of concussion testing as well as medical examinations.
The change aligns West Deptford School District policies with the state of New Jersey. Last year, the state passed an amendment to New Jersey concussion safety law that extended concussion testing to cheerleaders. It also requires cheerleading coaches to go through the safety training requirement, as other coaches are required.
Gov. Chris Christie originally signed a bill mandating concussion testing for student-athletes in December 2010. However, the original bill did not include cheerleading, which was considered an activity and not a competitive sport.
A separate regulation passed by the West Deptford school board similarly mandates that cheerleaders must go through a preseason medical examination in the same way other student-athletes must. Similar to the concussion legislation, cheerleading was not considered to be in the same category as other sports.