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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My children are in kindergarten at a non public school. Field trips to neat places like Safety city and the local grocery store bakery are starting up. I just saw the field trip waiver for parents to sign, and it says in part that no matter what, even if it was negligence on the part of the school or the place we're visiting, I agree to waive any action/liability etc etc.<br><br>
Ummm, no. If my child is injured due to someone's unsafe behaviour, I'll be taking action, legal or otherwise.<br><br>
Now, this is my first child in school, so I've never come across these waivers before, but I do understand the school wanting permission to take the kids off school property, and to some degree want to cover their butts if something goes wrong. Am I over reacting to the waiver? When I read it, I feel like signing it is essentially saying "anything bad that happens to my child, I agree to never rectify the situation or seek compensation." In any other environment, would we ever agree to this?<br><br>
thoughts please?
 

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I think you're in Alberta too?<br><br>
My dd did her Safety City field trip about 5 years ago, and the waivers were much less comprehensive. We would get a note that informed us of any risks inherent in any activity, like, riding a bus to get to the ice rink, might slip and fall on the ice if skating, etc. and what extra supervision was in place.<br><br>
Then they started replacing all the field trip paperwork for each trip with this blanket waiver. It saved some time, and made it easier for teachers always chasing down parents to sign forms. I also heard from teachers that it was an insurance requirement, that not signing them would mean no field trips could happen.<br><br>
We usually had either dh or I go on the trips when dd was younger and always found them pretty safe.<br><br>
I sign the annual waivers now, but if a child was seriously hurt through negligence on a field trip, I would still pursue reparations to the fullest extent possible. Had a friend who is a lawyer express the opinion that such a waiver would not protect the school boards or field trip locations from such a suit, though they would protect from frivolous lawsuits.<br><br>
I remember it was startling when I first read it. If you have questions, I'd call your school administration and ask about the reasoning behind these waivers and what you can do as a parent to ensure your child is safe on field trips.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
thanks so much for the reply, it was just what I was hoping to hear, that the waiver is not really a tight legal document.<br><br>
thanks again!
 

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It is more that you acknowledge & are aware that accidents happen so something may happen, though it is most likely not to.
 

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I think it's weird that the waiver says that they aren't liable even if they are negligent? That kind of waiver (even if signed) usually does not hold up in court (in the US at least, not sure about Canada).
 

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When I was student teaching I remember that the form the school used for trips was SO long and detailed it was crazy. I remember finding it bizarre that it even mentioned the possibility of death! But I was told that it really didn't mean anything--that it wouldn't matter in court if there actually was an issue. At the school I'm at now, the permission slips are much simpler--they really just want to make sure the parents know we are taking their kids elsewhere.
 

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We used to have big long permission slips too, but now they are very simple. They way it was explained is that even the big detailed ones do not hold up in a court of law so there is no point. We now have simple individual ones that give the date, location, and mode of transportation. The parent's signature is really just to show that the school had permission to take the child off of school property
 

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I once worked at a summer camp in Ontario, Canada. Their waiver essentially said "you can't sue for anything, ever." The kids were older though, basically 16 to 18, and the camp really tried to foster a level of independence and opportunity that many of the kids had never had a chance at.<br><br>
I asked about the waiver, and the camp director told me that it would never stop a parent from bringing or winning a lawsuit. However, it served the purpose of reminding parents that "shit happens" when teens go to summer camp, and discouraged parents from thinking about bringing lawsuits over minor things.
 
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