JUSTIN, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – A North Texas school district is asking parents to sign a list of pledges regarding the COVID-19 pandemic before students return to campus later this month.
The request went out to parents in Northwest ISD as around 18,000 students get ready to return in less than two weeks for in-person learning.
While all districts are educating families on cautionary practices due to COVID-19, Northwest ISD has asked for a signed pledge that it will happen.
The superintendent talked about it during an online presentation earlier this week.
“It just kind of serves as that partnership between us,” said Superintendent Dr. Ryder Warren. “We’re making the pledge to you, and parents and caregivers you’re making the pledge to us.”
The form asks parents to initial pledges including:
- Do my part to keep our community in good health as a guardian of my child
- NOT administer any medication to my child before I send them to school for face-to-face learning to mask the illness or decrease a fever.
- Educate my child of the importance of taking responsibility for their actions every day by demonstrating personal integrity, respecting others’ space, and wearing a mask according to the current local/state and NISD requirements.
In comments posted during the district’s live update, some parents indicated they were hesitant to sign the document.
“You can certainly do all these things. And you probably should do all these things in order to keep your school and community safe. But I see some potential pitfalls if a parent were to sign this document,” said Sawyer Neely, an attorney with Bradley in Dallas.
Neely questioned if the pledge would be legally binding. The form doesn’t list any consequences or consideration from the district. However, he explained there could be scenarios where the virus spreads in a school and the promise becomes a problem.
“Then somehow you end up in a potential liability situation, where you’ve signed a promise or, at least, an awareness that you shouldn’t send your child to school when they’ve got covid,” Neely said.
During Ryder’s presentation, he said he would not send the “pledge police” after people who didn’t sign it, or hold it over their heads. Employees in NWISD are being required to make similar pledges daily that they are symptom free, before they interact with children.
The district considered daily phone calls or reminders to parents, but determined a one-time pledge would be the least intrusive.