ABBEVILLE — The Vermilion Parish School Board voted unanimously Thursday to accept a comprehensive sports-related concussion management program proposal from Louisiana Athletic Care.

The cost of the program for the district will be about $15,000.

The measure passed on a motion from board member Tony Fontana.

“I want the board to pay for this,” he said. “This is a health and safety issue for Vermilion student athletes.”

Addressing the board, LAC representative Chad Arceneaux said the Legislature recently passed Act 314, “the Louisiana Youth Concussion Act,” which requires any organized youth sport with players aged 7 to 19 years to provide uniform education, training for coaches and return-to-play protocol for athletes suffering concussions.

The act also requires coaches to complete an annual concussion recognition course.

Arceneaux said his program offered the school district a “unified approach” to address all requirements of the new law while protecting Vermilion student athletes.

“When you are talking about concussions, you are talking about cognitive function,” he said. “Before, when a student was injured, coaches just asked him questions to see what was going on. This program is a comprehensive concussion program that meets all requirements of the new bill and provides training for coaches.”

Arceneaux said the program not only spells out when a player should be pulled from a game and how long the player should be out of physical activity, but also includes a complete return-to-play regimen so players can safely return to their sports through graduated activity levels until they are able to practice at full speed.

Students will be base-line tested before they begin playing sports. This would provide coaches and medical personnel with a benchmark with which to compare motor skills after a concussion.