I can’t sign that!

Authority School District 52 (Prince Rupert)

Sonya has a daughter in elementary school in Prince Rupert. She complained about the language used in a high risk field trip waiver form that she was asked to sign by the school. She expressed concerns about the last part of the waiver, which states that the parent waives all claims “arising out of any cause whatsoever, including negligence.” Sonya said that she spoke with the teacher, principal and Superintendent’s office about her concerns and was told that the form would not be changed. They referred her to the standard consent/waiver form in the school district’s master policy manual, which contained the same language.

We investigated whether the school district followed a reasonable procedure in responding to Sonya’s concerns about the language contained in the field trip waiver form. The school district informed us that the entire policy manual was being updated, and this update would include a review of the standard consent/waiver form. Following our consultation with them, the school district agreed to consider Sonya’s specific concerns when making the changes.

We noticed that, while some school districts used similar or identical language in their forms, other districts had chosen to remove that language. We also pointed out that recent court decisions raised questions as to the legal effect of the current language being used. We asked whether the district would agree to undertake a revision of the form based on this information in addition to Sonya’s concerns. The school district agreed that a revision of the form appeared to be appropriate and that they would consider the language used by other school districts in revising their own form.

Category Education
Type Case Summary
Fiscal Year 2013
Location The North