Increase Safety Procedures for High School Football

Target: United States Secretary of Education Arne Duncan

Goal: Enforce more thorough safety procedures and regulations on high school football teams to prevent injury and death.

Two youth football players have died in the same week from incidents related to the game, one a senior in high school and the other just nine years old. These are the eighth and ninth youths across the country that have died from football incidents since early September.

Seventeen-year-old Luke Schemm was in a playoff game for Wallace County High School when he was tackled in a final play before running to the sidelines and collapsing immediately. Luke’s family was excited about his recent announcement of the decision to attend the same college as his older brother in the fall.

On the same day of Luke’s announcement, nine-year-old Wyatt Barber was running sprints with his youth football team in Ohio when he collapsed during a break before the coaches immediately called 911 and began performing CPR. The third grader was then taken to the hospital, where he died soon after. Insist that the Department of Education requires stricter safety regulations and precautions for public school youth football teams to prevent further deaths and injury from what should be a harmless and character-building activity.


Dear Secretary Arne Duncan,

Recently, a plague of sudden and unexpected deaths have occurred among members of youth football leagues at public schools in the United States. After this week, a total of nine children have died from football-related incidents since the beginning of September. Two young boys in two different states passed away in a period of two days, one a senior in high school preparing for college in the fall and the other a nine-year-old third grade student. Both collapsed during either football practice or a game and died quite suddenly and tragically.

Losing a child is a devastation with such incredibly intense pain that it is impossible to completely conceive the suffering these families must endure. Seventeen-year-old Luke Schemm’s family were excited about his recent announcement of his decision to attend college with his older brother in the next year. He collapsed on the sidelines of the field during the final play of a playoffs game after enduring a tackle, running off the field before succumbing to a tragic brain incident.

This senseless loss of a life so young should not be allowed to continue occurring. Please implement strict and thorough safety protocols for youth football teams organized under the public school system.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Maddy Blythe

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