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In Loco Parentis

High-school sleepovers just aren't what they used to be.

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What happens when a concerned Brearley parent asks his overenthusiastic attorney to draft a letter to the parents of his daughter's tenth-grade classmates before a weekend outing at his East Hampton house? He ends up using a sledgehammer to kill a flea. It's one thing to worry about teenagers' spilling Coke on the sofa or tripping over a lawn chair -- and quite another to ask their parents to sign and return a 765-word "liability waiver and indemnification agreement" forgoing rights to "any and all present and future claims" relating to unspecified losses and damages. Parents who received the dense page of legalese were puzzled, but apparently most of them signed: The outing went off without a hitch.


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