Would you indemnify, hold harmless public school by signing a form?

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People entering public school are not asked to indemnify the system for injuries, but people visiting Raccoon Mountain are asked to sign a two-page indemnity agreement. (Photo Raccoon Mountain)

People entering public school are not asked to indemnify the system for injuries, but people visiting Raccoon Mountain are asked to sign a two-page legal agreement holding harmless the operator of its tourist-loved cave. (Photo Raccoon Mountain)

By David Tulis

By God’s providence and the gift of an intelligent woman as wife I have avoided the great trap of public school.

Passing a bus on the roadway, I often would tell my four children — now ages 12 to 23 — that they would not go to school, if God were merciful, nor ride in such a vehicle. “On the yellow bus and through the gates of hell,” I would affirm (quoting the title of a book by Mary Hood) with that odd arch tone dads use when repeating themselves and wanting the children to know that they know they are indulging in a bit of rehash.

Because state schools are said to be public, they are under no obligation to demand parents indemnify them for their sins, faults, torts and wrongs. Because it is admired still in some quarters, the state school makes no efforts to be held legally harmless by its ostensible patrons, those moms and dads who give it their sons and daughters.

Its hallways are safe — made safer by school resource officers, or SROs, who prowl the corridors and bring home our true state. Its classes and subject matter are free of any danger. Its theory tried and true. Families by generations identify with local schools.

No statement of indemnity needed.

Schools as ‘releasees’

I have filled out indemnity forms many times, prior to canoe trips or caving expeditions. On Saturday I filled out a two-pager from Raccoon Mountain Caverns and Campground LLC, which company asks to be declared innocent should any evil or accident befall a Tulis boy with his borrowed kneepads, helmet-mounted spotlight and old clothes.

If the state factory school were afraid of legal repercussions for its services, it would demand its patients “RELEASE, DISCHARGE, ACQUIT AND FOREVER COVENANT NOT TO SUE the releasees and / or any other person or entity with interest in the premises, and each of their officers, directors, shareholders, members, agents, managers, and employees from any and all claims, demands, actions, executions, judgments, or liability, present or future.”

The public school, called a “releasee,” separates itself from responsibility for miseducation and the results of its studied materialism and evolutionism. If the system felt such a need. It would demand that parents “covenant to hold releasees harmless and indemnify releasees from any claim, demand, action, execution, judgment, liability, or expense, present or future, which releasees may incur that may hereafter arise out of minor’s activities or presence.”

Parents, once they sign the form, acknowledge the risk of the public school, and count it for naught. Parents, by signing the form, “UNDERSTAND that minor’s entry into or onto the Premises contains DANGER AND RISKS, that conditions of the premises change from time to time and may become more hazardous. I APPRECIATE AND VOLUNTARILY ELECT TO ACCEPT AND ASSUME ON BEHALF OF MINOR ALL DANGER AND RISKS connected with minor’s entry into the premises.”

Voluntarily signing ‘my acceptance’

People who put their children in the state school agree to “permissive entry,” which is to say they enter. When parents or guardians enroll their children, they “voluntarily sign [their] name” to the form, “EVIDENCING MY ACCEPTANCE OF THE ABOVE PROVISIONS ON MINOR’S BEHALF.”

The child emerges muddy, the parent accepts. The child breaks out into the sunlight after a day in the cave, but with a broken arm; the mom forbears. The child emerges brooding and angry, the dad nods and embraces him. The boy crawls out with both knees shattered, the dad reaches down to pick him up. The daughter appears thirsty and hungry — and angry in Ritalin treatment — the parents accept.

Parents who patronize the government school accept its results, as if they were “binding upon my heirs, successors and assigns.”

But such documents proffered by cave and rafting outfits don’t cover for bad faith or negligence, no matter how much they might cast all responsibility for injury upon the visitor to the cave, or the user of a canoe on the Tennessee River. One can always sue for torts.

Schools operate as weapons of mass instruction, as John Taylor Gatto sees them, and no amount of litigation or compensation will undo the damage they’ve caused to the American family.

— David Tulis hosts a talk show weekdays in Chattanooga from 9 to 11 a.m. on 1240 AM Hot News Talk Radio, covering local economy and free markets in Chattanooga and beyond. Support this site and his radio station on the real airwaves in Chattanooga, on your smartphone via the TuneIn radio app or at Hotnewstalkradio.com. You back David by patronizing his advertisers with specific reference to him. Even better, encourage independent media by having David run commercials for your business. Also, “buy me a coffee at the tip jar.”

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