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Should school districts ban contact sports with potential for concussions?

Youth sports – especially in schools – have been under scrutiny for player safety issues in the last few years, especially when talking about concussions. With the NCAA, NFL, and state legislatures reevaluating the safety of their players, use this module to bring the conversation from the locker room to the classroom and ask if we should throw the flag on high-contact sports in schools.


New California Football Law Tackles Brain Injuries Head-On

College Football Players Aware Of Concussion Threat As They Prepare For Season

Additional resources to think about

New Law Aims to Reduce Concussion Risks in Student Athletes 
In 2014, Connecticut took a step toward ensuing parents, coaches, and student-athletes understand how to identify and manage concussions. In July of 2015, that law took effect helping schools around the state stay safe when their students take the field.

Why the NFL Should Be Scared of Chris Borland | FRONTLINE
This clip from League of Denial details the career and retirement of Chris Borland, a star defenseman who left football due to worry over brain damage and injury.

Are Concussions Deadly?
Folks talk a lot about concussions as an injury, but what is the science behind a concussion? How does a concussion happen? This video from Braincraft helps show what a concussion actually is, and what happens to someone who suffers from one.

Can Science Save Football?
The Good Stuff explores scientific advances in sports that might help ensure safety for athletes.

What happens when you have a concussion?
Each year in the United States, players of sports and recreational activities receive between 2.5 and 4 million concussions. How dangerous are all those concussions? The answer is complicated and lies in how the brain responds when something strikes it. Clifford Robbins explains the science behind concussions.

Concussion Protocol | Field of Vision
This short film of the NFL's biggest hits shows how excitement and danger go hand-in-hand in American football.

Can Wearable Tech Save Football?
NOVA takes a look at new technologies that could help keep athletes safe while playing high-contact sports like football.

Bell Ringer: The Invisible Brain Injury
This collection from PBS LearningMedia and AETN details the long and short-term effects and risks of concussions.


Who created this message?

  • What kind of “text” is it?
  • How similar or different is it to others of the same genre?
  • What are the various elements (building blocks) that make up the whole?


What creative techniques are used to attract my attention?

  • What do you notice (about the way the message is constructed)? 
  • What’s the emotional appeal?
  • What makes it seem “real?”
  • What's the emotional appeal? Persuasive devices used?

How might different people understand this message differently from me?

  • How many other interpretations could there be?
  • How could we hear about them?
  • How can you explain the different responses?

What lifestyles, values, and points of view are represented in, or omitted from, this message?

  • What type of person is the reader/watcher/listener invited to identify with?
  • What ideas or perspectives are left out?
  • How would you find what’s missing?
  • What judgments or statements are made about how we treat other people?


Why is this message being sent?

  • What's being sold in this message? What's being told? 
  • Who is served by or  benefits from the message
    – the public?
    – private interests?
    – individuals?
    – institutions?

5 Key Questions of Media Literacy used with permission from the Center for Media Literacy.
Copyright 2002-2021, Center for Media Literacy,


Should school districts ban contact sports with potential for concussions?

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