Sorry for being a late-comer to this, and even reviving it from the dead - but it hits home on quite a few levels, so I felt compelled to respond.
First and foremost, I think this, along with most things in our society, are not as black and white as people might think. There's a whole shit-ton of gray area, where idea from both sides live intertwined, not at polar ends of each other. As a football coach, a fan of the port, and the father of a kid who plays football (Lineman, at that) with 1 nasty concussion already under his belt, I can absolutely understand both sides of why people do and don't want their kids to play football.
I am fortunate that the state and school district I live in have put an immense focus into proper fundamentals that I feel his and my 'other boys' likelihood of getting one has greatly been reduced. However, nothing will reduce it to zero. Do the risks outweigh the rewards? That's really hard to say, I don't have a magic eight ball to see 40 years into the future. I do know that the more they play, the greater the chances are they incur significant damage. I personally have no issue in postponing tackle football until 8th grade (which is what they've implemented up here). The reality is, even into 8th grade - a majority of the kids simply don't have the strength or coordination to play the game technically sound enough to tackle and block right in order to reduce injury.
The science of these injuries are just like any other science - when the light of knowledge is shed on an area not known before, it just exposes how large the dark really is on what we still don't know.I mean it should be common sense that you ram your fist into a wall enough times, you're going to develop some damage. It would be foolish to think the same thing won't happen to a brain. People who play many years playing football and have documented concussions are more likely to have CTE than people who don't. Not voodoo or fakenews, it's simple math. *However* the rub is that there's been brain studies of people who have had ZERO head injuries that have also been diagnosed with CTE.
It is also a tricky thought because the media is absolutely in cahoots with the far left in this aspect, painting football out to be the devil when SO many other sports still have head injury issues. I'm no statistician, but I'd bet a crisp $10 bill that the reason football's numbers are dwindling is due to (in one way or another) misreported news by questionable media. It's interesting, our school district had (about) a 3 to 1 ratio of volleyball head injuries to football head injuries, yet not a peep from the local paper but whenever play stops for any kind of play in football, the paper is sure to note it in the article. NCAA volleyball, soccer, and other non-football head injuries still don't get evaluated the same way that football ones do. There is definitely a bias, but doesn't mean the reason why they control football-related ones is bad or wrong.
And just to throw this in there, a school should be tasked to make a well-rounded person that will pursue their skills and talents to the best of their ability and be a contributing and positive member of our society. To say sports shouldn't be in school would be just like saying there shouldn't be the arts. Well-rounded people don't come from a limited curriculum. It's noted that exposure to BOTH the arts and sports is more beneficial that anyone exposed to only 1.
I read through these comments several times, and I think they show exactly whats wrong with America. Not the thread, mind you - but America. We really need to do what you all have done here and looked to see that our intent is pretty much the same, we just see different ways of getting there. We want young people to be challenged in life so they can handle the challenges of adulthood. We want them to explore and experience the social camaraderie that something like team sports can provide.We want our kids to be able to do whatever they want in a safe way without having to end up dealing with those decisions later in life. I think once we can agree on the positives we want and agree that our intent is for the best, we can move forward in conversation in a way that's beneficial, not detrimental to ourselves, others, or the subject at hand.