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Just got into a fight with the school nurse..new update post 107,I WON! - Page 4

post #61 of 131
Weeeeeee!!! I'm so glad they backed down. I'm sure the higher ups just made the nurse read the law. Yay! Great job!
post #62 of 131
Thread Starter 
Well they are starting in on me again.There is a new school nurse and she's been going through everyone's records.She says I still need a letter from a religious leader. I don't know what to do now.The principal never responded to my letter,so I thought everything was ok.That was a few months ago.Now I'm all panicky wondering what to do next.I really cannot afford a lawyer.There is just no way.We are extremely low income.I can't even afford to get the required school supplies for home schooling if it comes down to that.

The nurse also said something interesting.She said once dd gets to high school there is a 3rd form to fill out,in addition to the state form and the religious leader letter.Now I am very curious as to what that is.
post #63 of 131
Quote:
Originally Posted by muldey View Post
Well they are starting in on me again.There is a new school nurse and she's been going through everyone's records.She says I still need a letter from a religious leader. I don't know what to do now.The principal never responded to my letter,so I thought everything was ok.That was a few months ago.Now I'm all panicky wondering what to do next.I really cannot afford a lawyer.There is just no way.We are extremely low income.I can't even afford to get the required school supplies for home schooling if it comes down to that.

The nurse also said something interesting.She said once dd gets to high school there is a 3rd form to fill out,in addition to the state form and the religious leader letter.Now I am very curious as to what that is.
That sux they are starting in again but I think it is very telling that you never heard from the principal, You have requested in writing if and why they will be denying your exemption, they have not responded. Sounds like this is a new nurse and she is flexing her muscles. Stay strong and do not waiver. What you have requested is reasonable and since you ARE following the law and do not need to submit anything from a religious leader, there is not much they can do I would imagine. The nurse will see how far she can push you. Stand your ground! HUGS!!
post #64 of 131
Just send back the letter that you sent previously. Maybe it'll help if you find the law yourself, print it and send in a copy. Tell her that if she can find a different law, please let you know because you couldn't find it.

What supplies are required for homeschooling? We homeschool and have no material requirements. That seems odd to me.

I'd also send an email to all important people in the school district. The supreme court decision showing that their policy is unconstitutional and asking for them to revise their policy to be compliant with the supreme court ruling.

Maybe someone good with words here will help you write a good "cut and paste" email.
post #65 of 131
Did you tell her to send you the denial in writing? Did they ever do that?
post #66 of 131
Quote:
Originally Posted by chaoticzenmom View Post
Did you tell her to send you the denial in writing? Did they ever do that?
Yes; it must be in writing. I would ignore her and wait for the principle; she has no authority to kick your child out of school for an administrative issue. I'd tell her (if she calls again) that you submitted your exemption in compliance with the law.


If necessary write a letter that says:

"I, Jane Doe, as the parent of Janet Doe, have submitted a religious exemption in compliance with TITLE 16. EDUCATION,
CHAPTER 38. OFFENSES PERTAINING TO SCHOOLS, R.I. Gen. Laws § 16-38-2 (2006), § 16-38-2. Immunization." [/QUOTE]

and enclose a copy of the law. NO state may require a letter from a religious leader, NONE. She doesn't know the law and obviously has her own agenda; the high school cannot require anything not already stated in the law. Print out the law, high light the relevant parts, keep it by your phone. If the school is going to challenge you, you would hear from the principle and/or the school board. In many districts, this is the time of year that children without the necessary vax have to get them, submit an exemption, or be kicked out of school.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Quote:
Originally Posted by Emmeline II View Post
Rhode Island Summary of Immunization Requirements & Guidelines for Granting Exemptions

Did you submit the form on page 8? There is not even a space for any questions on their part. If you submitted a letter instead of the official form, you may want to submit the form.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Emmeline II View Post
I feel so bad for you ; but try to chillax and drag this out as long as possible.

I would have just said "Christian" and left it at that; or Wiccan and just shocked them into submission. Even if you said "Lutheran" (a protestant denomination), each individual is entitled to their own beliefs inside a religion. I would read the Wexler case carefully...

I would also contact that lawyer recommended above, and keep the law on hand and (if you haven't received better advice) only respond by reading the law each time you are questioned on the vaccination; or read this:

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.


For your "appeal" I would consider turning in a new exemption; I altered it to reflect the RI health code above and I might refuse to answer any questions not in writing and having been reviewed by your "attorney" (stall, stall, stall...) because what you say to the super or the school board WILL be used against you if it goes to court (I have in mind a mom of a chronically ill child whose school board went after her for her child having "unauthorized" absences):



You can also review this, BUT be aware that the opposition reads these sites as well. You want to check with Legal Aid; perhaps you can get them to write an "your actions are in violation of the law" letter.
Know Vaccines
Quote:
Originally Posted by Emmeline II View Post
Good point.

I've said this before, but forgot to say it on this thread .


"I, Jane Doe, as the parent of Janet Doe, have submitted a religious exemption in compliance with TITLE 16. EDUCATION,
CHAPTER 38. OFFENSES PERTAINING TO SCHOOLS, R.I. Gen. Laws § 16-38-2 (2006), § 16-38-2. Immunization."
Quote:
Originally Posted by Emmeline II View Post
Rhode Island Summary of Immunization Requirements & Guidelines for Granting Exemptions

Did you submit the form on page 8? There is not even a space for any questions on their part. If you submitted a letter instead of the official form, you may want to submit the form.
post #67 of 131
Thread Starter 
I put the law in my letter I sent a few months ago.I also filled out the religious exemption form.They never sent me a denial letter.That's why I thought things were ok.I've spoken to the superintendent,he was very rude and told my exemption was not for religious reasons since I do not belong to a church. I'm not sure who else to speak to.Everyone I've spoken to aside from the principal (who was nice but wouldn't even budge on this)and the lawyer from the Board of Education(who's been nothing but helpful and seems to be on my side) has been rude and not willing to even listen to me.I wish they would do the denial letter so I could go in front of the BOE.I need to request a hearing but cannot until I get the denial letter.

I wouldn't even know who to start emailing,or what to say.

RI homeschooling: http://www.hslda.org/laws/analysis/Rhode_Island.pdf I assume I'll need the required books.Maybe I can get them from the school.If I can then I shouldn't have a problem.I homeschooled dd until 3rd grade and I had to submit a list of all of our curriculum to the school.Now that I read the law maybe this was going beyond the law?I didn't question anything,just went along with what they said at the time and had no issues.Now I wonder if I should have questioned everything.I really do not like this city.If my dad didn't own this house I'd move.
post #68 of 131
My guess is that you haven't received a denial letter yet because they know full well that you don't have to be a member of a religious organization in order to claim the religious exemption. I think they're hoping to bully and scare you into caving. If they put the denial in writing, they've paved the way for a legal case against them. I wouldn't get too upset yet. I would inform the new nurse that this has already been settled with her predecessor and all of your paperwork is already on file. If she's somehow mysteriously lost it, you will be happy to replace it, but you are aware of your rights and the requirements of the law and you expect her to be, as well. Stay confident.
post #69 of 131
Quote:
Originally Posted by earthmama369 View Post
My guess is that you haven't received a denial letter yet because they know full well that you don't have to be a member of a religious organization in order to claim the religious exemption. I think they're hoping to bully and scare you into caving. If they put the denial in writing, they've paved the way for a legal case against them. I wouldn't get too upset yet. I would inform the new nurse that this has already been settled with her predecessor and all of your paperwork is already on file. If she's somehow mysteriously lost it, you will be happy to replace it, but you are aware of your rights and the requirements of the law and you expect her to be, as well. Stay confident.
I agree.

OP: Currently, YOU HAVE NO PROBLEM. Until the school sends you a written letter of denial WITH an explanation of why it was denied, there is NOTHING for you to do. Don't call anyone, wait for a letter; if the principle calls to deny say "I'm sorry, but I can only accept a denial in writing." One thing I learned in the military is that if it is not in writing it didn't happen; the Officers loved for me to make their log entries because of all the detail I put in! If they are in the right they will have no problem sending this in writing--just ask a NYer! The NYC area is notoriously tough and will easily deny an imperfect letter--they will also mail the denial letter with the reasons for denial and a request for clarifying information.

It would not be a bad idea to know what the process is for homeschooling, if your options come down to court or homeschool, but right now there isn't a problem. In case you are unaware, there is a homeschooling board on mothering; they may have RI homeschoolers there or know of a group. You should also find out what the regarding homeschooling and vax is; if your state considers homeschooling private school, you may still need an exemption.
post #70 of 131
Don't give up!!! I can't give you any advice....but encouragement. It IS possible to homeschool with little money, however right now do whatever you can to fight and not back down....cross that bridge if you come to it. I'm so sorry you're dealing with this.
post #71 of 131
Quote:
Originally Posted by muldey View Post
I put the law in my letter I sent a few months ago.I also filled out the religious exemption form.They never sent me a denial letter.That's why I thought things were ok.I've spoken to the superintendent,he was very rude and told my exemption was not for religious reasons since I do not belong to a church. I'm not sure who else to speak to.Everyone I've spoken to aside from the principal (who was nice but wouldn't even budge on this)and the lawyer from the Board of Education(who's been nothing but helpful and seems to be on my side) has been rude and not willing to even listen to me.I wish they would do the denial letter so I could go in front of the BOE.I need to request a hearing but cannot until I get the denial letter.

I wouldn't even know who to start emailing,or what to say.

RI homeschooling: http://www.hslda.org/laws/analysis/Rhode_Island.pdf I assume I'll need the required books.Maybe I can get them from the school.If I can then I shouldn't have a problem.I homeschooled dd until 3rd grade and I had to submit a list of all of our curriculum to the school.Now that I read the law maybe this was going beyond the law?I didn't question anything,just went along with what they said at the time and had no issues.Now I wonder if I should have questioned everything.I really do not like this city.If my dad didn't own this house I'd move.
I'm sorry they are still harassing you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by earthmama369 View Post
My guess is that you haven't received a denial letter yet because they know full well that you don't have to be a member of a religious organization in order to claim the religious exemption. I think they're hoping to bully and scare you into caving. If they put the denial in writing, they've paved the way for a legal case against them. I wouldn't get too upset yet. I would inform the new nurse that this has already been settled with her predecessor and all of your paperwork is already on file. If she's somehow mysteriously lost it, you will be happy to replace it, but you are aware of your rights and the requirements of the law and you expect her to be, as well. Stay confident.
Yep, I agree with all of this. They haven't sent you a formal denial, they must know that what they are requesting isn't required by law so they are verbally harassing you in hopes you will comply at the same time they are doing nothing to further the process along to the BOE.

I'd totally ignore them too, until they send you a written denial.

Thank you for standing up for the law so that hopefully they will no do this to anyone else.
post #72 of 131
Thread Starter 
Thanks so much everyone.I'm feeling a little better about this now.I'm just going to wait to see if the denial ever comes.
post #73 of 131
Quote:
Originally Posted by Emmeline II View Post
I agree.

OP: Currently, YOU HAVE NO PROBLEM. Until the school sends you a written letter of denial WITH an explanation of why it was denied, there is NOTHING for you to do. Don't call anyone, wait for a letter; if the principle calls to deny say "I'm sorry, but I can only accept a denial in writing." One thing I learned in the military is that if it is not in writing it didn't happen; the Officers loved for me to make their log entries because of all the detail I put in! If they are in the right they will have no problem sending this in writing--just ask a NYer! The NYC area is notoriously tough and will easily deny an imperfect letter--they will also mail the denial letter with the reasons for denial and a request for clarifying information.

It would not be a bad idea to know what the process is for homeschooling, if your options come down to court or homeschool, but right now there isn't a problem. In case you are unaware, there is a homeschooling board on mothering; they may have RI homeschoolers there or know of a group. You should also find out what the regarding homeschooling and vax is; if your state considers homeschooling private school, you may still need an exemption.
This. You don't have a problem, just a new school nurse. Ask for the denial in writing so you can move to the next step. Use Emmeline's words of "reasons for denial and request for clarifying information." Ugh, I'm sorry you're having to deal with this.
post #74 of 131
Thank you for fighting. You are one strong Mama. I hope you battle will be over soon. I am so sorry you have to put up with this.
post #75 of 131
Quote:
Originally Posted by chaoticzenmom View Post
This. You don't have a problem, just a new school nurse. Ask for the denial in writing so you can move to the next step. Use Emmeline's words of "reasons for denial and request for clarifying information." Ugh, I'm sorry you're having to deal with this.
I didn't notice this was a new nurse, that explains the renewed harassment; but my advice is the same. I wouldn't initiate conversation about a denial at this point; why borrow trouble? "I have submitted a religious exemption in compliance with RI law.; have a nice day"--and hang-up. The school nurse does not have the authority to deny exemptions.
post #76 of 131
Stay strong, mama. You're doing the right thing. I can't imagine how exhausting this must be for you. If it helps at all, you have a nurse (me!) who is on your side
post #77 of 131
They really can't require a letter from your clergyman. However, I also can see this battle regurgitating itself every year from here on out, they seem pretty dense and tenacious on this issue. If I remember right, someone once posted about an organization founded by chiropractors I believe who are a legal religious entity that will write a letter of exemption for a nominal fee. I might seriously consider this just to have it over and done with once and for all (and it would sure be cheaper than an attorney). What BS that you have to deal with this when it's clearly not the law!
post #78 of 131
Quote:
Originally Posted by thefragile7393 View Post
Don't give up!!! I can't give you any advice....but encouragement. It IS possible to homeschool with little money, however right now do whatever you can to fight and not back down....cross that bridge if you come to it. I'm so sorry you're dealing with this.
I agree 100%! Keep fighting the fight to make the choices that are right for YOUR family. In this country we are still guaranteed the right to make choices regarding our health, and that of our kids.

Homeschooling is a wonderful option...it really ends up costing less for us than if we had them in public school with all the fundraisers and purchasing class supplies, etc. We are one income and expecting #6. Once I was totally on board with it, and totally excited about not having to be "in the system" we've made it work, and the kids are excelling..Not to mention that they are home, learning what we believe, and we don't have to face constant scrutiny for our non-mainstream choices.

Anyway, thinking of you, and so sorry you have to do this! No mama should have to fight and justify her beliefs to anyone.
post #79 of 131
It's been a while since I have been to this forum--I'm surprised you are still having problems! You mamas have posted some seriously good advice here!

Remember: Keep your head high and don't give up. You have the power here--demand everything in writing and do not budge until you get it! Chances are they will just back down because you are within your rights!
post #80 of 131
Thread Starter 
Thanks again everyone.I've spoken to the nurse a few times since(my dd walks a little differently and she wants to know if everything is ok,we're getting xrays done today to see what is going on) and she has not mentioned the exemption at all.Hopefully it stays like this.
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