Schools Face Covid-19 Legal Risks

Schools Face Covid-19 Legal Risks

As schools begin to open up all over the country, some institutions have tried to find ways to mitigate their risks regarding Covid-19. According to Lyle Adriano of Insurance Business Canada, “While private schools could issue waivers to students’ parents to allow children to continue attending classes amid the COVID-19 pandemic, legal experts warn that those waivers are not enough to completely absolve schools from liability should students get infected.”

The belief is that private schools may require parents to sign a waiver before allowing a student to return to class. In theory, this would absolve schools from responsibility should a student contract Covid-19 on its premises. In fact, signing such a waiver would then place full responsibility on the parents themselves – meaning that the school in question would safeguard itself from legal repercussions.

 However, legal experts suggest that these waivers would not be binding.

John Schuman, a child family and law specialist, stated that these waivers would be difficult to enforce especially if they are suddenly imposed on parents who have already paid full tuition and gone through with the enrolment process.

He states that “Where there’s less of that freedom, or (if) parents aren’t really free to fully understand what’s going on and to walk away if they need to, waivers become less enforceable.”

Similarly, Eric Roher (a senior lawyer), expressed substantial doubt on CTV News that parents would not sue the school even if they have signed a waiver.

Roher goes on to state that instead of signing a waiver, it would be better if parents were made to fully understand the risk their children face while at school. He said, “What I would prefer, to be honest with you, is that we spell out what the safety and learning protocols will be and have parents confirm that they’ve read and understood them. I think that’s a safer approach.”

Some parents have assessed these risks and, instead of sending their children back to school, have established Pandemic Pods in order to homeschool small groups of children. However, that would expose homeowners to great risk and insurance experts have strongly opposed this idea.

To better understand the best way to move forward, contact one of our licensed experts today at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call us at 905-696-9090.


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