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'They Should Apologize': Archdiocese Of Philadelphia Reviewing Back To School Waiver Scrutinized By Parents, Attorney

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- The Philadelphia Archdiocese is taking action after parents started questioning a waiver they had to sign for their kids to go back to school. One parent was so concerned over the waiver he hired an attorney.

The attorney says the waiver doesn't just protect the Archdiocese against COVID-related incidents, it essentially does not allow parents to sue the Archdiocese for almost anything.

As classes dismissed at St. Bernadette's in Drexel Hill Monday, parents were excited to pick up their little ones after their first day of school.

"The kids were ready to go back," one parent said.

"St. Berne's seems to be on top of things," said another.

But the waiver was a cause of concern for some parents.

It reads the Archdiocese of Philadelphia has "no obligation to provide any insurance or other financial assistance for the costs of any injury, illness or death ... and expressly waive any claim for such compensation."

"And that's where there's serious, serious problem," injury attorney Jordan Strokovsky said.

The Center City-based personal injury represents a parent from St. Bernadette's.

"Essentially everything under the sun, the Archdiocese will try to escape liability," Strokovsky said.

It's also a stark contrast to other waivers, like one from the Mobile, Alabama Archdiocese, which makes clear it's only for COVID-related incidents and references COVID almost a dozen times.

The Philadelphia Archdiocese waiver references COVID just once.

"The Archdiocese simply should rescind these agreements and they should apologize,"  Strokovsky said.

In a statement Monday, the Archdiocese said: "In light of the concerns voiced by parents, senior administrators from the Office for Catholic Education are reviewing the waiver and are working towards a resolution."

The Archdiocese did not say when they expect that resolution to happen.

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