Relates to MRSA and other infectious skin disease protection and education; establishes the interscholastic wrestling health training and education program.
Ayes (15): Flanagan, Farley, Lanza, Marcellino, Maziarz, Robach, Seward, Oppenheimer, Addabbo, Avella, Breslin, Montgomery, Serrano, Stavisky, Huntley
Ayes W/R (3): LaValle, Ranzenhofer, Saland
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the education law, in relation to health requirements for wrestling
PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL: This legislation seeks to mitigate the spread of infectious disease in middle school and high school interscholastic sports. This bill instructs personnel who supervise wrestling to take steps to disinfect wrestling mats, maintain working showers, and take certain steps before allowing previously infected athletes to return to wrestling. All costs associated with disinfecting wrestling mats shall be reimbursable by the state. This legislation also places requirements on school officials to take steps to inform coaches and to inform student athletes of the risks, dangers and precautionary measures that can be taken to prevent the spread of infectious skin disease.
It is the intent of the legislature that this bill not place any unreasonable unfunded mandates on the schools. This bill is intended to provide student athletes with protective measures that will reduce the chance that infectious disease will spread during wrestling matches. However, this legislation was specifically crafted in a way that would allow schools to implement the requirements of this bill in the easiest way possible and with the least cost applicable.
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS: Section One renumbers section 3001-d of the education law to 3001-e and adds a new section 3001-d which requires school officials, coaches, teachers, and referees that supervise wrestling to disinfect mats. This section also institutes a requirement that athletes who have previously contracted an infectious skin disease present a federal infectious disease form bearing a licensed physician's stamp or signature releasing them to participate in the activity. Facilities that host wrestling tournaments are also required to have working showers. No liability shall be imposed on any facility, school district, nonpublic school or board of cooperative educational services who has complied with this section and acted in good faith and exercised reasonable care.
Section Two amends the education law by adding a new section §921 which requires wrestling coaches to complete a course of instruction annually. The course of instruction required under this section shall contain specific components and may be completed online. Also under this section, schools are required to distribute materials from the Department of Health website to pupils who participate in wrestling and requires that the pupil sign a statement attesting that he or she has received, and understands such information. No liability shall be imposed on an employee or agent of a school district, nonpublic school or board of cooperative educational services who has complied with this section and acted in good faith and exercised reasonable care.
Section Three is the effective date.
Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is a bacteria that is responsible for many serious infections. Because MRSA is resistant to antibiotics, the infections are very difficult to treat and pose severe health risks to those who contract them.
Padding used in school athletics is an ideal breeding ground for the harmful bacteria that can lead to infectious and potentially life threatening diseases. These surfaces can easily become contaminated with infection-causing bacteria, which exposes participants of full contact sports to the danger of contracting harmful infections such as MRSA. Fortunately, educating students and supervisors about these diseases and how to prevent them and sanitizing the mats on which these activities take place are easy, low cost measures that can curb the spread of MRSA and other skin infections.
This legislation would require school officials, coaches, teachers and referees who supervise wrestling to take certain steps to prevent the spread of disease in middle school and high school interscholastic sports. These steps include disinfecting the mats with an inexpensive disinfectant solution prior to each practice and each competition, and whenever these personnel who supervise deem appropriate. By requiring that the mats be cleaned prior to use, this bill ensures that wrestlers commence their activity on an infection-free surface. However, the supervisors of the sport retain discretion as to when else the mats should be cleaned, without imposing any additional requirements with respect to cleaning times. The cost of complying with this section is reimbursable by the state and therefore, the school would not have to incur any expense to comply.
In addition to cleaning the mats, any pupil who has previously contracted an infectious skin disease would be required to produce a federal infectious disease form authorized by a physician before engaging in wrestling. This screening method ensures that any infected student is cleared by a physician before they come into contact with other wrestlers.
Showering prior to, and after, engaging in wrestling activities is another measure that athletes can take to help prevent infection. Available showers are especially important in tournament situations, where the athletes are in the same place for long lengths of time after they compete, as opposed to matches where the athletes return home within a couple of hours. This legislation requires any facility that hosts a tournament to have functioning showers available with both hot and cold water, for both sexes.
This bill recognizes that unforeseen circumstances could arise where the facility took steps to fulfill this requirement but were unable to do so. To address this issue so that no undue liability is placed on a facility or a school for failure to comply, this section eliminates liability so long as the facility or school acted in good faith and exercised reasonable care in carrying out their duty to clean mats, receive infectious disease forms and provide showers to athletes as required by this section. This would allow for facilities and schools to take an alternative course of action if for example, the showers become suddenly unavailable, such as distributing disinfectant wipes.
In addition to the aforementioned day to day requirements, education and information are important components to ensure that both athletes and personnel involved in wrestling are armed with the knowledge to undertake measures to protect themselves and their pupils, respectively, from contracting a skin infection. This legislation provides for education and information to be available as easily as possible and with little to no cost to the schools. Wrestling coaches are required to complete a short course of instruction annually to educate them on certain topics relating to skin infections and how to prevent transmissions of such. There are online resources available that coaches may use to fulfill their duty under this section. For example, the New York State Public High School Athletic Association provides a live webinar each year containing all of the items required for the course of instruction that are set out in the bill. Alternatively, schools may, but are not instructed to, establish their own course of instruction for the purpose of providing wrestling coaches with the required educational components enumerated in this bill.
Public and non-public schools are required to provide information to each pupil who participates in wrestling. The New York State Department of Health website is a resource that contains information on skin infections, and specifically the spread of skin infections through high school athletics. This bill directs the school to make this information available to the students who participate in wrestling. If a student does not have internet access, the school is responsible for providing such access to the student for the purpose of viewing the information. Alternatively, the school may print out the information from the website and distribute it to students, when applicable. Currently, the Department's website contains much of the information required by this legislation. The Department may update their website to include all of the required information. If the department does not make changes to their website to meet all the specifications of this legislation, the school shall supplement the information on the website to ensure that the students have received information relating to each of the items enumerated in the bill. The school must also receive from each student, a signed statement that this information has been received and understood. The statement may be included on any existing form already administered by the school to wrestlers for their signature, so that a new form is not required by this legislation. The statement must remain on file with the athletic director for one year.
Liability shall be eliminated with respect to acts or omissions by employees and agents of school districts, authorizing nonpublic schools and boards of cooperative educational services when they acted in good faith and exercised reasonable care in the course of carrying out their duties with respect to the educational and informational requirements of this bill.
LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: New bill.
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: Approximately $120 per year incurred by the school for cleaning supplies, reimbursable by the state.
EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect on September 1, 2012; provided, however, that effective immediately, the addition, amendment and/or repeal of any rule or regulation necessary for the implementation of this act on its effective date are authorized and directed to be made and completed on or before such effective date.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 5654 2011-2012 Regular Sessions IN SENATE June 9, 2011 ___________Introduced by Sen. ZELDIN -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Education AN ACT to amend the education law, in relation to health requirements for wrestling THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Section 3001-d of the education law is renumbered section 3001-e and a new section 3001-d is added to read as follows: S 3001-D. HEALTH REQUIREMENTS FOR WRESTLING. 1. SCHOOL OFFICIALS, COACHES, AND REFEREES WHO SUPERVISE WRESTLING AND SCHOOL STAFF WHO ASSIST WRESTLING ACTIVITIES SHALL: (A) DISINFECT THE WRESTLING MAT BEFORE EACH PRACTICE, BEFORE EACH COMPETITION AND WHENEVER DEEMED APPROPRIATE DURING SUCH TIMES; (B) REQUIRE THAT ANY PERSON WHO HAS PREVIOUSLY CONTRACTED AN INFEC- TIOUS SKIN DISEASE THAT IS COMMUNICABLE TO PRESENT A NATIONAL FEDERATION OF STATE HIGH SCHOOL ASSOCIATIONS (NFHS)/NEW YORK STATE PUBLIC HIGH SCHOOL ATHLETIC ASSOCIATION (NYSPHSAA) APPROVED INFECTIOUS DISEASE FORM BEARING A LICENSED PHYSICIAN'S STAMP OR SIGNATURE RELEASING SUCH PERSON TO PHYSICAL ACTIVITY PRIOR TO PARTICIPATING IN WRESTLING. 2. (A) ANY FACILITY THAT HOSTS A WRESTLING TOURNAMENT SHALL HAVE WORK- ING SHOWERS WITH BOTH HOT AND COLD WATER AVAILABLE FOR STUDENTS OF BOTH SEXES. (B) FOR PURPOSES OF THIS SECTION "TOURNAMENT" SHALL MEAN A WRESTLING COMPETITION BETWEEN THREE OR MORE SCHOOLS. 3. NO FACILITY, SCHOOL DISTRICT, AUTHORIZING NONPUBLIC SCHOOL OR BOARD OF COOPERATIVE EDUCATIONAL SERVICES OR ANY AGENT THEREOF, SHALL BE HELD LIABLE FOR DAMAGES FOR INJURIES OR DEATH ALLEGED TO HAVE BEEN SUSTAINED BY A PUPIL ARISING SOLELY FROM A FAILURE TO COMPLY WITH THIS SECTION WHEN THE FACILITY, SCHOOL DISTRICT, AUTHORIZING NONPUBLIC SCHOOL OR BOARD OF COOPERATIVE EDUCATIONAL SERVICES, OR AGENT THEREOF ACTED INEXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD11233-13-1 S. 5654 2
GOOD FAITH AND EXERCISED REASONABLE CARE IN THE COURSE OF CARRYING OUT THE DUTIES REQUIRED UNDER THIS SECTION. 4. THE COSTS OF COMPLIANCE WITH THIS SECTION, EXCLUDING THE COSTS RELATED TO THE REGULAR MAINTENANCE AND REPAIR OF SCHOOL FACILITIES, BUT INCLUDING SUCH WAGES AND PROCUREMENTS NECESSARY FOR COMPLIANCE, SHALL BE BORNE BY THE STATE AND REIMBURSABLE TO THE SCHOOL. S 2. The education law is amended by adding a new section 921 to read as follows: S 921. DISSEMINATION OF INFORMATION FOR INFECTIOUS DISEASES. (A) ALL WRESTLING COACHES ARE REQUIRED TO COMPLETE ANNUALLY A COURSE OF INSTRUC- TION RELATING TO THE RECOGNITION, TREATMENT AND MONITORING OF PUPILS WHO SUFFER FROM INFECTIOUS SKIN DISEASES. THE COURSE OF INSTRUCTION REQUIRED BY THIS SUBDIVISION SHALL INCLUDE, BUT NOT BE LIMITED TO: THE DEFI- NITION OF AN INFECTIOUS SKIN DISEASE, SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS OF INFECTIOUS SKIN DISEASE, GUIDELINES FOR CONDUCTING SKIN INSPECTIONS, HOW SUCH TRANSMISSIONS MAY OCCUR, THE IMPORTANCE OF CLEANLINESS WITH REGARD TO SHOES WORN BY PLAYERS, COACHES AND REFEREES THAT COME INTO CONTACT WITH THE MATS, AND THE GUIDELINES FOR THE RETURN TO SCHOOL AND TO WRESTLING ACTIVITIES AFTER A PUPIL HAS SUFFERED AN INFECTIOUS SKIN DISEASE REGARD- LESS OF WHETHER THE TRANSMISSION OF SUCH OCCURRED OUTSIDE OF SCHOOL. SUCH COURSE OF INSTRUCTION MAY INCLUDE, BUT SHALL NOT BE LIMITED TO, A WEBINAR APPROVED BY THE SCHOOL'S ATHLETIC ASSOCIATION. SUCH COURSE SHALL NOT EXCEED SIXTY MINUTES IN LENGTH. (B) BILINGUAL INFORMATION SHALL BE PROVIDED TO EVERY PUPIL PARTICIPAT- ING IN WRESTLING, TO EACH WRESTLER WHO HAS SUFFERED AN INFECTIOUS SKIN DISEASE AND TO EACH COACH OF A WRESTLING TEAM. THE INFORMATION REQUIRED BY THIS SUBDIVISION SHALL INCLUDE BUT NOT BE LIMITED TO: THE DEFINITION OF AN INFECTIOUS SKIN DISEASE, SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS OF INFECTIOUS SKIN DISEASE, GUIDELINES FOR CONDUCTING SKIN INSPECTIONS, HOW SUCH TRANS- MISSIONS MAY OCCUR, THE IMPORTANCE OF CLEANLINESS WITH REGARD TO SHOES WORN BY PLAYERS, COACHES AND REFEREES THAT COME INTO CONTACT WITH THE MATS, AND THE GUIDELINES FOR THE RETURN TO SCHOOL AND TO WRESTLING ACTIVITIES AFTER A PUPIL HAS SUFFERED AN INFECTIOUS SKIN DISEASE REGARD- LESS OF WHETHER THE TRANSMISSION OF SUCH OCCURRED OUTSIDE OF SCHOOL. SUCH INFORMATION MAY BE MADE AVAILABLE BY DIRECTING THE PUPIL TO THE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH WEBSITE; PROVIDED, HOWEVER, IF A PUPIL CANNOT ACCESS THE WEBSITE THE SCHOOL SHALL MAKE THE WEBSITE AVAILABLE THROUGH SCHOOL RESOURCES OR SHALL DISTRIBUTE THE SAME. NO PUPIL SHALL ENGAGE IN ORGANIZED PRACTICE FOR OR PARTICIPATE IN ANY INTERSCHOLASTIC WRESTLING ACTIVITY ON BEHALF OF A SCHOOL DISTRICT OR BOARD OF COOPERATIVE EDUCA- TIONAL SERVICES, UNLESS AND UNTIL THE ATHLETE SHALL HAVE SIGNED AND RETURNED A STATEMENT ATTESTING THAT HE OR SHE HAS RECEIVED OR READ AND UNDERSTANDS THE INFORMATION REQUIRED BY THIS SECTION. SUCH STATEMENT MAY BE INCLUDED ON ANY EXISTING FORM ADMINISTERED BY THE SCHOOL TO A WREST- LER THAT REQUIRES THE ATHLETE'S SIGNATURE FOR PARTICIPATION IN WRESTLING ACTIVITIES. EVERY SCHOOL DISTRICT AND BOARD OF COOPERATIVE EDUCATIONAL SERVICES SHALL MAINTAIN ON FILE IN THE ATHLETIC DIRECTOR'S OFFICE FOR AT LEAST ONE YEAR A COPY OF EACH STATEMENT RECEIVED. ANY NONPUBLIC SCHOOL SHALL IMPLEMENT THE PROVISIONS OF SUCH RULES AND REGULATIONS. (C) NO SCHOOL DISTRICT, AUTHORIZING NONPUBLIC SCHOOL OR BOARD OF COOP- ERATIVE EDUCATIONAL SERVICES OR ANY AGENT THEREOF, SHALL BE HELD LIABLE FOR DAMAGES FOR INJURIES OR DEATH ALLEGED TO HAVE BEEN SUSTAINED BY A PUPIL ARISING SOLELY FROM A FAILURE TO COMPLY WITH THIS SECTION WHEN THE SCHOOL DISTRICT, AUTHORIZING NONPUBLIC SCHOOL OR BOARD OF COOPERATIVE EDUCATIONAL SERVICES, OR AGENT THEREOF ACTED IN GOOD FAITH AND EXERCISEDS. 5654 3
REASONABLE CARE IN THE COURSE OF CARRYING OUT THE DUTIES REQUIRED UNDER THIS SECTION. S 3. This act shall take effect on September 1, 2012; provided, however, that effective immediately, the addition, amendment and/or repeal of any rule or regulation necessary for the implementation of this act on its effective date are authorized and directed to be made and completed on or before such effective date.