Ontario Introduces Education Act Amendments Relating to Concussions
On March 6, 2012, the Ontario government introduced Bill 39, Education Amendment Act (Concussions), 2012. If passed, the Bill would rename Part XIII.1 of the Education Act “Pupil Health,” and create new provisions for concussions.
These provisions would authorize the Minister to make policies and guidelines relating to the following:
- the distribution of head injury prevention information to pupils, parents, guardians, board employees and volunteers, as well as the identification of symptoms of concussions and the management of concussions;
- the management of concussions, including both the removal of a pupil who is suspected of having sustained a concussion from intramural or inter-school athletics or any part of the health and physical education curriculum, as well as the return of that pupil; and
- the responsibilities of board employees, classes of board employees, or other persons who are involved in intramural or inter-school athletics or any part of the health and physical education curriculum in relation to the foregoing.
The Bill further requires boards to establish policies and guidelines respecting head injuries and concussions, as well as to address the matters specified above.
Finally, it expressly provides that a board employee or volunteer who is involved in intramural or inter-school athletics or any part of the health and physical education curriculum is not personally liable in a civil proceeding for an act or omission, provided the person acts “reasonably in the circumstances, in good faith and in accordance with the Act, regulations and with any policies and guidelines made under this section.”
The amendments would come into force on a date named by Proclamation.