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'It was very morbid' | Parents, district respond to Hazelwood School District's waiver

The district said the waiver is only for parents who have kids that plan to participate in athletics

HAZELWOOD, Mo. — The Hazelwood School District released a statement after several social media posts about a waiver received thousands of shares.

The waiver that was shared has at the top of it ‘Parent Permission and Waiver of Liability for Student Participation in Hazelwood School District Athletics/Activities’

According to the district’s website, there is no COVID-19 waiver for parents who select the education option that includes in-person school. Parents who want their child to participate in athletics are asked to sign a waiver.

“It’s only for athletics and will only be collected from parents who chose to have their kids play sports. No one is forced to do anything.,” a spokesperson from the district said in a reply about the waiver on Twitter.

Below is the statement on the school district’s website:

“Good Afternoon Hazelwood School District Community,

HSD partnered with all stakeholders to develop an instruction plan for the 2020-2021 school year that offers parents options and mitigates risk. Unfortunately, some inaccurate information about a waiver was shared by multiple media outlets today.

Here are the facts:

There is no COVID-19 waiver for parents who select the education option that includes in-person school.

Parents who want their child to participate in athletics are asked to sign a waiver. This year’s waiver includes language about COVID-19 to ensure that parents can make an informed decision.

The waiver was created by the Missouri United School Insurance Council (MUSIC). All school districts that are covered by MUSIC will use a similar waiver for athletics.

No students are required to participate in athletics.

Our district has implemented unprecedented safety precautions in all of our buildings; however, it is important for parents to understand that school districts can only mitigate the risk of COVID-19. No district, organization, or business can offer 100% protection against exposure to a global pandemic. Visit the Centers for Disease Control website for more information about COVID-19.”

On July 10, the Board of Education preliminary approved a plan that gives families the choice of selecting a 100% virtual school option or a blended option that includes virtual and in-person school. The plan is set for final approval on July 21. The option selection deadline for HSD families has been extended to July 24.

5 On Your Side's Jasmine Payoute spoke to several parents in the Hazelwood School District.

"It was very morbid, it kind of almost felt like I would be signing a death waiver," one mom said.

Hazelwood School District communications director Anthony Kiekow said that isn't what the waiver is at all.

He said the waiver includes language about COVID-19  and that it's something the district has to have in there to ensure parents make informed decisions. 

"But we want parents to know that this is a risk again at this point all school districts can do is mitigate the risk related to COVID-19. No one can offer full protection from a global pandemic," Kiekow said. 

Parent, Shannon Selby said for her and many other parents - the waiver made their decision a little easier.

"Every parent that I've seen on Facebook is having the exact same reaction, some of them weren't considering sending their kids back right away, some of them were and I think for most of them this kind of sealed the deal for them not wanting to send their children back," she said. 

For more on Hazelwood School District's plan, click here

Part of Hazelwood School District's survery

Credit: Hazelwood School District

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