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Justice with Jessica: What parents should know about field trip waivers

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Posted at 10:59 AM, Aug 26, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-26 12:59:06-04

DENVER — Now that kids are back at school, field trips are just around the corner.

Those trips typically require children to bring home permission slips that usually includes an agreement on a school's liability. Those field trip waivers may not have much on an impact on what happens if a child gets hurt.

Colorado already has a special law that shields schools from certain types of liability. The Colorado Governmental Immunity Act applies whether parents sign a field trip waiver or not. For the parents wondering whether or not to sign the waiver, Igor Raykin, an education attorney, thinks it's just fine.

"Go ahead and send your kid on a field trip because it really doesn't matter whether you sign the waiver or not. You're not gonna be able to go after the school in most cases," Raykin said.

Justice with Jessica: What parents should know about field trip waivers

There are some exceptions, according to Raykin.

"They have no liability for, kind of, general, run-of-the-mill negligence," Raykin said. "They have liability for what is known as a willful and wanton conduct — in other words, intentional conduct."

If a child is injured on a field trip, Raykin said to pay attention to where the injury occurred.

"If there was some kind of negligence, I would focus on the place where they got injured, to see if there's liability there rather than the school," Raykin said. "Because going after the school really is going to be a waste of time in most cases, because the laws protecting schools are very, very strong."

If an injured person is able to sue a public entity for an injury they receive, the liability is capped at $387,000.