SCOTTSDALE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) - As parents consider sending their kids to summer camps through their child's school district, a local attorney is sounding the alarm.
Scottsdale Unified School District is asking parents to sign a waiver putting all responsibility on themselves if their child contracts COVID-19 at the camp.
With COVID-19 updates changing daily, there is still so much about this virus even doctors don't know yet. That being said, Chandler attorney Tom Ryan said SUSD sending out the COVID-19 waiver to parents for their summer camps is crazy. He’s telling parents not to sign it.
“It scared the living stuffing out of me because I saw what the parent was being asked to waive,” Ryan said. “This is an irresponsible request from this school district.”
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Ryan was sent the waiver from a friend whose child is getting ready for summer band camp through SUSD. The waiver, which can also be found on the district's website, asks parents to sign off that they will be responsible if their child contracts COVID-19 at the camp and gets sick, or gets a family member sick.
“They’re saying even the insurance company, who you’ve paid a premium to, is off the hook. That makes no sense,” Ryan said.
The attorney said what's most concerning is this waiver doesn't at all describe what the school district is doing to keep kids safe.
“Parents don’t know what is being done at the school. Is there being contact tracing done? Testing done? What are the hygiene methods? Tell me about your social distancing. What are you doing to protect my child?” he said.
And Ryan said not only is the language so broad in the waiver, but it's also putting the burden of knowledge on the parents when so much about the virus is still unknown.
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“We don’t understand why somebody can get it and not have any symptoms, and somebody else can get it and they’re dead in three days,” Ryan said.
Arizona’s Family reached out to Scottsdale Unified to ask them about this waiver and if any sort of waiver is going out for the start of the school year in August. An SUSD spokeswoman sent us a statement, which can be read below.
Thank you for inquiring about the waiver. The document you see is from the district's insurance Trust that represents multiple district(s) across Arizona and is being used for multiple extracurricular activities, including athletics, arts and summer camps for a wide variety of age ranges for pre-school to twelfth grade. Some of these activities may involve travel in vehicles, use of weight-room equipment and other fitness-related machinery that do carry risks to participants. Those risks may not be present in all activities, but to avoid having multiple forms and to streamline operations for the district, one form is used. These camps and extracurricular activities offered by Scottsdale Unified School District are voluntary activities, and while we do not expect anyone to ever be injured at our events or on our campuses, our insurance Trust must be prudent in these matters.
SUSD added it's still in the process of planning their reopening for the 2020-21 school year and more details will given out at a July 7 public meeting, including the possibility of a waiver to return to school.