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School Permission Slips

School Warns It's Not Responsible For Kids on Field Trips

Just how closely do you read your school's field trip permission forms? Probably a lot more carefully after hearing this. After a tragic landslide during a fossil-hunting field trip last school year, the St. Louis Park School District in Minnesota is looking to limit its liability on future field trips, and is doing so by modifying parent permission slips. The form states that while the school will take “necessary precautions and plans for the care and supervision of students” during the field trip, “beyond this we will not hold the school or those supervising the trip responsible.” Some parents are concerned the school has put its bottom line ahead of their kids' welfare. What do you think? Would you still sign the form?

Read the whole story on The Stir.

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CoMMember13631166098074 CoMMember13631166098074 3 years
my son hates feild trips lol he says the busses dont have belts and that means the schools want to kill them cause its unsafe to not wear one and their teaching the kids bad things by doing that also he says theres no way with all the kids that everyone can be watched he feels unsafe
KatieDonahue1364184256 KatieDonahue1364184256 3 years
This is a sad story all around. A family losses a child, a school wants to pass the buck on the safe of its children, parents loss faith in the school and the children will no longer benefit from the hands on learning and fun a field provides. The school should be ashamed of their actions. If my child went there I would be exploring transfer options immediately!
DarlaLaughlin DarlaLaughlin 3 years
If you want your kid to go enjoy the field trip, sign the permission slip and don't make a big stink about the wording in it. It doesn't matter what it says on the slip. All the slip is for legally is to say that you allow three school to take your child off school property and trust that the decisions they make regarding the off property visit will be in the best interest of your child and won't cause any known harm. Beyond that, any adult put in place and especially paid to supervise any child is responsible for the child's well-being. In regards to the wording in these permission slips, they wouldn't hold up in court for one second. The only reason they put it on there is in hopes that something should happen that they could remind you of the form you signed and try to convince you that you can't contact an attorney or sue them. However, you can sue, and would more than likely win if your child was seriously injured due to any abuse, neglect, or intentional endangerment. Laws are different in many states, but common sense prevails. If you're bringing frivolous suit about a minor incidental thing that was completely out of their control and no fault of theirs, then you're wasting your time.
LindaSchlueter LindaSchlueter 3 years
The statement, "Parents will not hold the school or the teacher liable" has been on every field trip permission slip form since I started teaching 20 years ago and I have taken students all over the United States on field trips. In other words, the parent cannot sue the school or the teacher for anything that happens on a field trip. One field trip to a neighboring town, I left a student behind because she was not where she was supposed to be when we were leaving. She had sneeked out to find some friends at the school we were visiting. I called the parent immediately and they had to come pick her up. I knew she was safe and I alerted the administration that she was there, somewhere in the building. I had 120 other students to return to school in time to catch their buses. I was not liable for her misbehavior. As for the St Louis Park incident - the students were standing on the top of a hill and the mud gave out from underneath them due to all the rain St. Paul had had this past spring. Did anyone know or suspect that could happen? Of course not. That is a "natural" disaster and could not have been prevented by anyone. Who is responsible then? Students have several pairs of eyes on them on field trips, but sometimes things happen, just as they do at school and at home. So all the permission slip is legally stating is that the parent cannot sue the school or the teacher for anything that happens.
StephFilby StephFilby 3 years
I am in the UK and even if you chaperone on a school trip, the school are still entirely responsible for your child. I wouldn't be signing a slip like this. They can't possibly expect any parent to be responsible for a child not in their immediate care. Whoever is looking after them at the time should take full responsibility for the childs safety and welfare. Its one thing to be able to prepare a child for a potential disaster, that's just common sense, but it is entirely the teachers job to keep the children in their care out of danger in the first place. Any attempt to relinquish or limit that responsibility should not be accepted by parents,
BarbiAppleton BarbiAppleton 3 years
Sounds like a great way to get parents to chaperone. Outside of that, the school is responsible for the children during school hours.
juliadoherty juliadoherty 3 years
My sons school has always had this on field trip slips. They also statement that parents remain responsible for their child's behavior at all times. So even if you are not present you have signed something stating you are liable for anything caused by your child's behavior. I have either chaperoned or sent a chaperone on every field trip. Once I even sent our babysitter because a family member couldn't chaperone. It was a walk-a-thon in Kindergarden and I wanted to be sure there was an adult whose job it was to hold my kids hand when they crossed the street. As a parent we are where the buck stops for our kids. After Newtown I also walked around the school building with my son and talked about where all the emergency exits were and what houses within a short run would be safe places to go in an emergency. I had no qualms about telling the teacher that I wanted my first grader out the window not in a closet in the case of an intruder in the building and that I had already explained to him which window was an emergency exit and he should go out it no matter what the teacher said if it looked safe. You have to take responsibility for your kids. You have to talk about what to do in emergency situations so they can make good decisions. Our family has regular conversations about what to do in an emergency situation and that the best decision is to get as far away as possible as quickly as possible even if it means go against a teacher, fireman, or police officer. You need to make sure your kids know what to do and can make their own decisions in an emergency and then you need to be there if you don't have 100% faith in the adults they are with. I love my sons teacher, but I don't even have 100% faith in myself in an emergency with 25 kids. It is just not possible for anyone. Your kid, your responsibility. PERIOD. Liability doesn't matter if you loose a child.
TonyeOriakhi TonyeOriakhi 3 years
They are responsible even though they put in all the caveat they like.
missnanny missnanny 3 years
Hate to tell them - you can sign every permission slip but they are liable for anything that happens. Ask any lawyer!
Jessica14882430 Jessica14882430 3 years
I agree w Kaity...I wouldnt sign it either but would offer to go as a chaperone. Or just plan a family fun day for the coming weekend...
KaityEvans KaityEvans 3 years
Nope, i wouldn't sign. I'd "volunteer" to help supervise.
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