St. Paul Fire Department's photo of the collapse location at Lilydale Park.
ST. PAUL - The mother of a boy injured in the Lilydale landslide says she's concerned about the school's new field trip permission slip which was sent home this week with students.
The landslide happened May 22 during a school fossil hunting field trip. 4th graders Mohamed Fofana and Haysem Sani were killed.
Devin Meldahl was buried alive, but survived.
The students attended Peter Hobart Elementary School in St. Louis Park.
In the wake of the tragedy, parents expressed concern that the school didn't tell them enough about the field trip to Lilydale and the dangers their children might face there, even though the school was required to when it received a fossil hunting permit from the city of St. Paul.
Facing parent scrutiny and the possibility of litigation related to the field trip and the landslide, field trip permission slips from Peter Hobart Elementary School look much different that they did last year.
A St. Louis Park School District spokesperson says district leadership met over the summer and in consultation with the district's attorney decided that they could improve the permission slips and provide additional information to parents.
But Danielle Meldahl, Devin's mother, was concerned when she saw language used in the new form that would appear to relieve the school or those supervising the trip of any responsibility if something was to go wrong.
"I'm not comfortable signing it and saying I'm going to send my kid with you and you're not responsible if something happens," says Meldahl.
The form came home with her younger son who is a first grader at Peter Hobart Elementary. The district spokesperson says forms have only been sent out so far for first and second grade students. Forms for the other grades will follow in the coming weeks.
Last year, a blanket permission slip covered all field trips for the year but said nothing about where the kids would be going.
This year's form is totally different and includes a list of all field trips for the entire year. The list is different for each grade.
Toward the bottom of the page is the signature section which includes this language: "We understand the arrangements described above and believe the necessary precautions and plans for the care and supervision of students during the field trip will be taken. Beyond this we will not hold the school or those supervising the trip responsible."
The district spokesperson says the language was added to the permission slip at the direction of the school district's attorney. She says the district wants to provide as much clarity to parents as possible and encourages parents to contact their teacher or school principal if they have any concerns about the language
Danielle Meldahl has not decided yet whether to sign the permission slip for her younger son or for Devin when he receives the 5th grade form sometime this month.
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