School Business Affairs October 2020

asbointl.org SCHOOL BUSINESS AFFAIRS | OCTOBER 2020 37 LEGAL ISSUES 6. Develop waivers for sports, field trips, and other activities that clearly and fully explain risks associated with participa- tion. Provide separate forms for all activities; courts frown on blanket approvals that may not provide parents with sufficient information. Students who have not returned completed forms signed by their parents must not be permitted to participate in activities. At this time, it might be wise to eliminate athletic activi- ties to help reduce the threat of transmitting COVID-19. 7. As part of annual professional development sessions, boards should conduct regular virtual meetings to keep staff apprised of COVID-19-related developments. When devising and updating poli- cies, SBOs, their school boards, and other education leaders should col- laborate closely with their attorneys, and with medical professionals on COVID-19-related concerns. Conclusion Maintaining policies does not elimi- nate all risk of liability, but it can go a long way in demonstrating that SBOs, their boards, and other education leaders did all they could to keep schools safe, especially considering COVID-19. The more carefully all educators apply safety rules and provide adequate student supervision, the more likely it will be that they can avoid unnecessary and costly litigation if a staff member or student tests positive for COVID-19. References Benitez v. New York City Board of Educa- tion , 543 N.Y.S.2d 29 (N.Y.1989). Jones v. Jackson Public Schools , 760 So. 2d 730 (Miss. 2000). M.M. v. Fargo Public School District , 815 N.W.2d 273 (N.D. 2012). Murray v. Indianapolis Public Schools , 128 N.E.3d 450 (Ind. 2019). Shoemaker v. Whitney Point Central School District , 750 N.Y.S.2d 355 (N.Y. App. Div. 2002). Tomlinson v. Board of Education of Elmira , 583 N.Y.S.2d 664 (N.Y. App. Div. 1992). Van Leuvan v. Rondout Valley Central School District , 798 N.Y.S.2d 770 (N.Y. App. Div. 2005). V.W. v. Middle County Central School Dis- trict at Centereach , 107 N.Y.S.3d 71 (N.Y. App. Div. 2019). Charles Russo, legal issues liaison for ASBO’s Education Committee, is Joseph Panzer Chair of Education in the School of Education and Health Sci- ences (SEHS), director of SEHS’s Ph.D. program in educational leadership, and research professor of law in the School of Law at the University of Dayton, Ohio. Email: crusso1@udayton.edu Carmen Rodriguez is an attorney in the Law Office of Victoria Wickman, New York City. Email: crodriguez@wickman medlaw.com TAKE A MINUTE TO LEARN Stay informed with actionable insights in School Business Minute, a two-page summary of the profession’s top trending topics . DELIVERED MONTHLY VIA ACCENTS. asbointl.org/SchoolBusinessMinute

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