Note from the Editor: In the November 18 edition of the Blanco County News, our article on the school board meeting; “Sports Injuries Spark Parent Concern” caused some confusion. In the first paragraph, we reported that “The presence of EMS personnel at varsity football games is inadequate.” That should have read, “The presence of EMS personnel at only varsity football games is inadequate.” Mrs. Gombert also informed the BCN that her son’s injuries occurred at a rival football field and not in Blanco. Below is the exact statement that Kelle Gombert gave to the school board in its entirety. I, the editor, and the Blanco County News, apologize for any inconvenience this has caused. We appreciate Mrs. Gombert providing us with the letter so that we are able to make the article clearer.
I am sending a copy of what I said to the school board at the school board meeting on November 9, 2009. What was reported was not correct. I would like for everyone to know what was really said.
Blanco School Board,
My name is Kelle Gombert, and I am here on behalf of all children in contact sports activities. I believe that we have a problem in the area of the contact sports that needs to be addressed. I am sure that we all know and have heard it discussed many times by parents whom have children who participate in contact sports, that there needs to be a trainer or some type of medical personnel on the side lines of all contact sport games. I realize that during Varsity Football games that the EMS and there medical crew are present, and I do believe that this is a state law requirement or UIL Rule. What I don’t understand is why there is a difference between Varsity and Junior Varsity football games? I don’t believe there is a difference. Most of these children have been playing football since they were six years old, so experience is not a factor. Size could be a factor, if you were talking about 5A and not 2A football, because the size is about the same. How hard they hit is not an issue, as it is very much the same.
Now, this year alone we have had 5 broken legs, 1 collar bone injury, 1 shoulder injury, 1 torn ACL and Meniscus injury, 1 wrist injury, and many knee and finger problems. We have also had a major head injury. If there were a trainer or medical personnel on the side lines, they would have been more experienced to have possibly recognized the head injury right after it happened. They would also have known what to do with the knee issues, and taken care of them, instead of the kids parents having to come out on to the field to take care of their kids.
I have previously been told by some that if I want a trainer then I should pay for it. I feel like I do, along with everyone else that pays school taxes. Texas is recognized as a “football State”, and we should do everything we can to keep our kids safe and also protect our school from liability. After all, if everyone is injured, we would have no team. We all support our team as parents, and we know accidents happen. We all know of the chances we take when these kids play contact sports, but to take the risk of not having them taken care of on the sidelines is not right.
Also, for them to lay in severe pain for 30 minutes waiting for EMS is not right. Mary Ann Romero, a Register nurse, had to come from the stands to help my son, when nobody else knew what to do. However, it is not her responsibility, and she could also face liability issues that should not have to be faced for trying to help in an area that we should already have taken care of. I realize that Doctor Weaver is there a lot of times also, but it is understandable that he is not always able to be at all games.
I also realize that people do not want to do anything for fear of a law suit, but we don’t have enough experience in this school to take care of these types of injuries. Nor do the coaches have the time to stop and take care of the injured kids.
There are several other reasons why there needs to be a trainer or medical personnel present at all contact sport events in this district, but I only have 3 minutes to discuss this matter, and that is not enough time to discuss them all. This is a request for action before we have anyone else hurt without the proper care. I do not believe that it is an action that the coaching staff should be responsible for, but I do believe it is the responsibility of the school district as a whole and the school board needs to act on the issue immediately.
Thank you for your time.