Some New Jersey school districts are taking advantage of the vulnerability of parents of children with disabilities during the pandemic, by demanding a broad waiver of all legal liability in exchange for nothing more than providing the services required by the child’s IEP. Huffington Post has the full story, here.
Would you sign a breathtakingly broad waiver of rights just to get necessary special education services, like counseling and speech? We don’t think you should have to decide. For example, the article quotes one district’s demand that parents “waive and relinquish; fully release and discharge; and indemnify and hold harmless” the school district and all of its employees “from all claims, liabilities, causes of action, costs, expenses, attorneys’ fees, damages, indemnities, and obligations of every kind and nature, in law, equity, or otherwise.”
Are you outraged? We are too. Parents of children with disabilities are already at their wits’ end during the school closure; districts should not be “kicking them while they’re down.” This firm believes that in most cases, school districts cannot lawfully demand such waivers. And we think that even if a parent signed one, perhaps out of desperation, it is probably void.
John Rue & Associates routinely represents parents in disputes with NJ school districts across the state. We are actively investigating this issue and would like to hear your stories. Call (862) 283-3155 for a free preliminary consultation. Some families may qualify for free representation by our firm.