(Church Corner Article)
(Published in the Fall/Winter of 2007 Newsletter)
I attended church for many years before I first heard of the “Lock In,” although I was quite familiar with the concept. A lock in is a Church or charity event, that usually includes an all night youth activity where the premises is sometimes locked, while the youth are kept up all night long, given tons of sugar drinks, candy and sweets and additionally stimulated by sporting or other entertainment events like movies and games – generally for the purpose of raising money for a worthy cause. Unfortunately, these lock-in events are the subject of increasing lawsuits. Last year, for example, a lawsuit was filed by the parents of children who got sick after participating in a “food testing” game where they had to drink a mixture of various liquids and foods that would repulse the normal person – a la popular TV reality shows like Fear Factor. More common were lawsuits where children were the subject of inappropriate sexual conduct by one of the few adult chaperons present, or by other minors.
So what can your organization do? We have a checklist of over a dozen things your organization should consider and do to prevent these kinds of disasters. Such items include getting a Release from a parent or guardian well before the activity starts. Other suggestions include obtaining pre-approval from the Board for all games and activities beforehand and requiring all areas to be well-lit during the event. If you would like to have a copy of our checklist and/or a copy of our proposed Release, call me toll free 1-866-464-LAWS or email me at email@example.com.
NOTE: The contents of this Newsletter are not intended to be, nor should they be taken as, specific legal advice as each situation is different. Please contact a lawyer with any questions you may have.
The Church Law attorneys at Trinity Law can help. Contact us now by calling, toll free, 1-866-464-5297.