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Oklahoma leaders holding forum to address school sports safety

OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – After two Oklahoma athletes died in a matter of weeks, state leaders are addressing safety in school sports.

Officials say 13-year-old Riley Boatwright’s life was cut short after a tragic accident while playing the sport he loved. Family members say he took a hard hit during the first five minutes of the football game on Sept. 24.

“By the time the ambulance was aware that we were down and needed help, it was 15 minutes before they got to that field,” Natalie Boatwright, Riley’s sister, said.

Riley died later that night after being taken to a hospital in Purcell. The family said he suffered a traumatic brain injury.

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In September, Southwest Covenant sophomore Peter Webb made what some say was a routine tackle on an opposing player.

During the play, Webb sustained a head injury and later died at the hospital.

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Following the deaths, leaders in the community are concerned about what more can be done to keep kids safe.

On Tuesday evening, Oklahoma Watch will host a forum at the Oklahoma History Center.

One of the main points experts will address is how to fix the problem and who needs to be held responsible.

"When we send our kids to school and play sports, we just assume they're being taken care of. In reality, they're not and we have to, we can't have another death in this state nor another student suffer injuries retained in sports," said Alison Taylor, the president of the Oklahoma PTA.

In the last decade, Taylor says Oklahoma has lost 14 students.

The forum is free and will begin at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, but guests are encouraged to register online.

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