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Exemptions in Ohio (trouble with school)

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
I'm trying to get my daughter enrolled in kindergarten for next year and am having trouble with the school regarding vaccinations.

It is a public school, and they are refusing to enroll my child because of her vax status. They told me they do not accept exemptions, but this is obviously a lie. All public schools must accept exemptions, right?

Are there any forms that look professional that I can fill out and give to them? My google searches have not turned up much.
post #2 of 9
Ohio, right?

http://codes.ohio.gov/orc/3313.671

"3313.671 Proof of required immunizations - exceptions
(4) A pupil who presents a written statement of the pupil’s parent or guardian in which the parent or guardian declines to have the pupil immunized for reasons of conscience, including religious convictions, is not required to be immunized.

(5) A child whose physician certifies in writing that such immunization against any disease is medically contraindicated is not required to be immunized against that disease."

A public school cannot deny entry if you have choose not to immunize in Ohio. I would present them the legislation that provides protection for this and ask what else is required to allow them to follow the laws of their state. Don't let them intimidate you! Good luck!
post #3 of 9
They absolutely cannot legally do this. Ohio has all three exemptions- religious, medical, and philosophical. Philosophical is as simple as I cannot in good conscience vaccinate my child because I believe it is wrong. Print out the law from the Ohio code site, write out a written statement, sign it as the law says, take both with you. Contact the school's superintendent if they continue to give you a hard time. It is not legal, don't let them get away with it.
post #4 of 9
OP- Did you get it worked out? I'm in OH too, in fact DH is down at the school right now registering my oldest for K. Our preschool did not give us a hard time, but I have no clue how we will be treated at our public school. I sent the philosophical exemption form from Dr. Tenpenny's site signed by both my DH and I, PLUS a print out of the OH law about exemptions. I told my DH not to let them push him around (I am home with the other kids, don't want to have to wait in line and deal with trying to argue with them with my kids in tow), and at worse, our ped, who is pro-vax, BUT knows that it's our right to refuse vax said that if the schools give us a hard time, have them call him and he will set them straight. I am hoping though that we are not the only ones to go through this in our district, so we won't have to be the trailblazers to, "educate" the school about vax exemptions. Plus, my youngest will be going to the same district for preschool and I'll have to do the whole thing all over again for his registration later on this month...
post #5 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by MissRubyandKen View Post
They absolutely cannot legally do this. Ohio has all three exemptions- religious, medical, and philosophical. Philosophical is as simple as I cannot in good conscience vaccinate my child because I believe it is wrong. Print out the law from the Ohio code site, write out a written statement, sign it as the law says, take both with you. Contact the school's superintendent if they continue to give you a hard time. It is not legal, don't let them get away with it.
Print out the law and take in your letter. Hand it to them:

School: "We told you we do not accept exemptions."
You: "You have to follow the law of the State of Ohio. If you had read the Ohio law concerning vaccinations you would know that exemptions are part of Ohio vaccination law and you HAVE to accept them. YOU do not have authority to do otherwise."

If you can do this during the business day I'd carry a cell with the principle's number, the Superintendent's number, and maybe the State Attorney General's number, and call each one while standing in the office, if necessary.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I just registered for K yesterday. The Intake lady saw the exemption (a VERY official looking, Texas Star in the middle, Texas Department of Health insignia in one corner,erial number in the upper right corner,and notarized, letter) and turned to the school nurse who looked at it and basically said (I couldn't hear as it was noisy so this is what I imagined was said):

Nurse: "Oh, that's legal, no problem."
Intake lady: "but the State says 'no shots, no school."
Nurse: "No, that form is from the State, it's OK."
Intake lady looks resigned, "Well, if you say so..."

I actually got questioned more about not having a SSN for my son!

Here is a sample religious exemption letter (getting the letter notarized at your bank will help it look official):

Sample Religious Exemption Letter(change the state law reference):

Quote:
To whom it may concern;



(We / I) {First and Last name(s)}, as the {(parent (s) / guardian(s)} of ______________________(name of newborn child) are exercising (our/my) rights under the US Constitution, PUBLIC HEALTH LAW, ARTICLE 21. CONTROL OF ACUTE COMMUNICABLE DISEASES,TITLE VI. POLIOMYELITIS AND OTHER DISEASES, NY CLS Pub Health § 2164 (2002), to receive Religious Exemption from Vaccination, ALL injections, prophylaxis, & testing due to our genuine and sincere religious beliefs which are contrary to the practices herein required.

The U.S. Supreme Court held in Frazee V. Illinois Dept. of Security, 489 U.S. 829, that a religious belief is subject to protection even though no religious group espouses such beliefs or the fact that the religious group to which the individual professes to belong may not advocate or require such belief. This ruling is also reflected in Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 as amended Nov. 1, 1980; Part 1605.1-Guidelines on Discrimination Because of Religion.



Sincerely,

Your signature.
Date
post #6 of 9
There is a LOT of ignorance when it comes to this issue.
All you can do is try not to get angry at them for them not knowing the law.
Bring them the law and show them and try to do so in as nice a way as possible.
they honestly probably have just not experienced it yet.
NOW if they push you on it ever AFTER you've shown them all your info- THEN i woudl get pushy :-)

The nurse/clerk at my doctors office had never heard of exemptions either. She thgout I must be crazy and idiotic to think my kid could go to school w/o getting all their shots....
post #7 of 9
Is there a school nurse at the school? She should have the form on hand....
post #8 of 9
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Is there a school nurse at the school? She should have the form on hand....
I spoke with the school nurse today. The school does not provide a form. She was extremely rude but did acknowledge they would have to let my child attend as long as I provide a written statement. Wow, she was NOT happy and threatened me with "If one child gets a communicable disease your daughter will be taken out of the school until we believe it is ok for her to come back".
post #9 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by Amylcd View Post
I spoke with the school nurse today. The school does not provide a form. She was extremely rude but did acknowledge they would have to let my child attend as long as I provide a written statement. Wow, she was NOT happy and threatened me with "If one child gets a communicable disease your daughter will be taken out of the school until we believe it is ok for her to come back".
Wow! I can't believe she doesn't have one(I'm a school nurse in Ohio). She has no right to threaten you: Sorry to hear that!
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