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Monday, October 10, 2011

Public Health Policy Change: A Webinar Series

The Public Health Law Center's series of free webinars for the public health community covers significant and timely topics in public health law and policy. Our national panel of presenters includes experts in public health law and policy in areas such as tobacco control, obesity prevention, worksite wellness, active living, and public health legislation.
The webinars take place on two Wednesdays every month, from 12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. (Central Standard TIme). For a calendar of upcoming webinars, click here.

"Promoting Recreational Use of School Property After-Hours"
Oct. 19, 2011
12 - 1:30 p.m. (CST)

Obesity rates are skyrocketing, in part because of the public's lack of access to safe and appropriate places to be physically active. School facilities offer a partial solution to this problem, but many schools around the country do not allow community use of school property. One primary reason for denial of access is schools' concern over liability issues, real or perceived. Schools around the country have varying levels of liability risk when an individual or community group uses school property for recreational use outside of the school day. One way to promote community use of school property would be to better define a school's liability risk in these situations, to address misperceptions about the current level of risk and, where appropriate, to reduce that risk. The American Heart Association has developed a model School Recreational Use Statute in order to address barriers to community recreational use of school property.

This webinar will outline the importance of community use of school property, discuss the concerns behind community use of school facilities and liability, give the legal basics on liability and address the key concepts of the model School Recreational Use Statute. Sponsored by the American Heart Association, the Public Health Law Center and the University of Florida, College of Health and Human Performance.


  • Natasha Frost, Staff Attorney, Public Health Law Center

  • Carter Headrick, Director of State and Local Obesity Policy Initiatives, National Advocacy Department, American Heart Association

  • John O. Spengler, J.D, Ph.D., Associate Professor in the Department of Tourism, Recreation and Sport Management at the University of Florida


  • Debbie Hornor, Community Obesity Policy Manager, American Heart Association

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