(Memphis) One mom called News Channel 3 after her son came home with a consent form she says came from Memphis City Schools.
Most parents might sign it without a second thought so their children can go on a field trip.
Maranja May decided to take a closer look, and she says she was shocked at what she saw, ” I looked at the letter. I read over it and I said did your teacher give you this? He said yes ma’am. I said wow.”
Her 13-year-old son brought home a parental consent form from American Way Middle School Thursday.
The school wanted her permission for her son to take a field trip to Overton High School.
“It was a harmless form that says Memphis City Schools, the Board of Education, the chaperones and anybody else dealing with field trip will not be held liable or responsible if anything happens to your child,” said May.
She was shocked.
Not only was the school system absolving itself from any responsibility for an accident, the form says the Board of Education does not carry insurance relative to this field trip for any injuries to students, and parents assume all risk and hold harmless the Board of Education and its employees from loss, liability and court costs.
“I cannot sue you all and neither can I charge you attorney fees or anything like that. I am responsible if my child is in your care and I don’t like that,” said May.
She called the school but never got a response.
We contacted Memphis City Schools.
They tell us the Hold Harmless Form applies to all field trips and has since 2009.
May wants parents to think twice before they sign it, “I told my son you probably won’t be going on this field trip.”
May even posted complaints on Facebook and other parents chimed in saying they got the same form and refused to sign it.
We checked with Desoto County Schools and Shelby County Schools, neither said they use a form like this one.
A consumer lawyer with Memphis Area Legal Services says even if parents sign the form and their child is in an accident, it doesn’t mean the parents have no other options.
He says it unlikely a court will allow the hold harmless form to stand.