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High schools nationwide ask athletes to sign coronavirus waivers in case they die

2020-07-19

High schools across America have a message for parents: If your kid gets sick and/or dies from coronavirus contracted during a voluntary extracurricular activity, you can’t sue us.

Several high schools, from California to Florida to Minnesota, have asked parents to sign liability waivers for kids starting summer activities.

In some places those activities, including everything from football two-a-days to band camp, have started as scheduled despite the increasing spread of coronavirus throughout much of the United States.

The waivers do not apply to fall classes. Districts have stressed this point, as the documents, which are still quite callous, have panicked parents.

One waiver that went viral was from Hazelwood School District, a St. Louis suburb. The document asks parents to absolve the district of all liability in case of “injuries to or death of my child.”

Hazelwood, in a Tuesday Facebook post, said that the waiver applied only to athletes at the school and that other schools in Missouri had issued similar waivers.

Turlock Unified School District in California, Anderson County Schools in Tennessee, Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted School District in Minnesota and both Lee and Clay County Schools in Florida were among the numerous schools that asked parents to sign away liability as well.

Each school district’s waiver applied to different programs, but the message was the same: You can’t sue us if your child gets coronavirus doing [insert activity here].

All five states are still planning to play high school football when classes resume, whether remotely or in person.

One Florida school district, Volusia County, “inadvertently” sent its COVID-19 waiver to some coaches and teachers in addition to parents, the Palm Beach Post reported. The district retracted the document after pushback and said it has no plans to reissue it.