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Chaperone Do’s And Don’ts

(File photo: Joe Raedle/ Getty Images)

(File photo: Joe Raedle/ Getty Images)

feldman_amy Amy Feldman
Amy E. Feldman is a business commentator and legal business...
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By Amy E. Feldman

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - If you are chaperoning one of your kids’ functions, what are your responsibilities and what are your legal risks?

A chaperone on a bus ride with middle schoolers in Scarsdale, New York apparently went nuts last month when one kid threw a piece of candy. The chaperone was caught on cell phone camera screaming “Who did it? The driver will kill you. One more time, you will die. You will bleed.” Uh, lighten up Francis.

The police looked into the incident and said the tirade was disturbing, but not criminal. Now’s a good time to remind your kids how lucky they are that you’re not that kind of embarrassing.

If you volunteer to be a chaperone, you do have some legal obligations. First, it’s your duty to keep kids safe, and there have been cases filed against chaperones for negligent supervision. So don’t doze off. Be aware of hazards like blocked fire exists, kids wandering off into unsupervised areas, and consider standing near the food and drinks to make sure no one adulterates the punch.

In addition to what your responsibilities are, though, it’s important to remember what your responsibilities aren’t. If you see kids fighting, or have reason to believe that they are intoxicated or behaving unsafely, report what you see to designated authorities rather than taking matters into your own hands and embarrassing your kid or yourself when the inevitable cell phone video of your meltdown is released.

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