More Vaccination Machinations

This time, the battlefield is New York-the basics of the story are the same-if children are not immunized by a certain date (January 28th in this story), they will be excluded from school.

This story has an angle I have not seen in other stories about schools and vaccinations:

“Rita M. Palma of Bayport said she and her husband, Ronald, had
considered taking legal action against the Bayport-Blue Point School District over its immunization policy. She said it denied their request for a religious waiver last August after a two-hour hearing and then compelled two of their children to receive inoculations.”

She would be correct in suing them, because the board or district has no legal power to refuse exemptions. Here is what the New York law does say:

Immunization requirements shall not apply to children whose parent, parents, or guardian hold genuine and sincere religious beliefs which are contrary to the practices herein required, and no certificate shall be required as a prerequisite to such children being admitted or received into school or attending school.”

When we scroll down that page we come to this section: NY CLS Pub Health Section 2164 which says in part 6:

“The form shall provide for the execution of a consent by such person and it shall also state that such person need not execute such consent if subdivision eight or nine of this section apply to such child.”

Part 8 deals with medical exemptions, so I will not post that part. Section 9 tells us:

“This section shall not apply to children whose parent, parents, or guardian hold genuine and sincere religious beliefs which are contrary to the practices herein required, and no certificate shall be required as a prerequisite to such children being admitted or received into school or attending school.”

You can read all the sections of the law yourself at the link I provided under my “this is what the New York law does say”. The point is that in reading the law, nowhere does it say that the school board/district has to approve an exemption.

Therefore, if you are a parent or know a parent in New York that is under the impression that they must go to a hearing to have the school district/board approve their religious exemption, show or tell them about this post. Print out a copy of the New York law and give it to them. Print out 2 copies-one for them to keep and one to show the school. Sometimes the school does not know what the law says and by showing it to them, you can avoid hassle.

Secondly, parents, no matter what the school tells you, vaccinations are not required. You do have the right to avoid them if you choose. And no, the school does not have the authority to approve or reject a religious exemption.

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