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New York laws on exemptions

post #1 of 42
Thread Starter 
Hi everyone. It has been a long time since I have been on this site. My life has been hectic!! Anyway, I have come for everyones excellent knowelege. I just moved the New York, an itty bitty town near Glens Falls. So I have started the process of getting my two sons inrolled in school, of course, I am waiting for the vax exemption form. I went down today and got them, and they told me that the only exemption is religious......I am not bothered by doing a religious exemption, I think it will be more solid than a philisophical, but........So this religious form is INSANE!!! It has like a half o page for me to write down, "Why I am requesting, and what are my religious principles, PLUS it has to be Notarized, AND APPROVED!!!!! WHAT!!!! :
I am so annoyed right now!! I did not think they could do this? I came from Vermont, which is SUPER laid back about the whole thing, I know, but this is rediculous!! I had no idea it would be this hard!

Now, please correct me if I am wrong, but, can the school really do this, I need info on the laws. I "thought" that in January there was another law passed that gave parents the right to philisophical exemptions now, too. If this is the case, than HOW can the religious be so strict? I need some help here, and I need to know what to do with these boneheads........
post #2 of 42
I'm in NY too, but haven't had to file a religious exemption yet, since my lil guy is just 18 months.

I'm hoping someone will reply to you with what they did. There used to be a regular (and extremely knowledgeable!) NY poster...LONGISLAND. I haven't seen her post recently though. Maybe she is still around though, and can get you some good info (or look up her old posts).
post #3 of 42
The requirements are probably not legal, but they currently stand.

-Angela
post #4 of 42
NY has genuine and sincere language in the law reguarding religious exemptions. Language such as this (the US Supreme Court ruled) allows the state to question your sincerity. I would post on the NY board and ask if anyone there has a LongIsland provided exemption or an otherwise used and approved NY religious exemption.

Above all, don't get wordy or philosophical; just remember that vaccination is against your genuine and sincere religious beliefs.

Oh, and check my first link for religious exemption info.
post #5 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by babytoes View Post
I am waiting for the vax exemption form. I went down today and got them, and they told me that the only exemption is religious......
WHAT form? There is no form in NY, except in NYC. You need to write a letter for an exemption. DO NOT give the school any form!

Quote:
It has like a half o page for me to write down, "Why I am requesting, and what are my religious principles, PLUS it has to be Notarized, AND APPROVED!!!!! WHAT!!!! :
No, no no. That is NOT right.

I'm near you, and will PM you.

Quote:
I "thought" that in January there was another law passed that gave parents the right to philisophical exemptions now, too.
Nope. And I would never use a philo exemption anyway - it's the least likely to stand up in court IMO. You are guaranteed religious freedom by the Constitution.
post #6 of 42
I recently enrolled my dd's in school and used this letter. The school attached the letter to the form instead of having me fill out the space on the form that I think you're referring to. I had the form notarized, and the school nurse had the administrator sign it for me. There was no problem at all. I hope it's as easy for you as it was for me. Good luck.
post #7 of 42
Quote:
9. 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.

10. The commissioner may adopt and amend rules and regulations to effectuate the provisions and purposes of this section.

11. (Added, L 1994) Every school shall annually provide the commissioner, on forms provided by the commissioner, a summary regarding compliance with the provisions of this section.
Not the individual school, I thought.
post #8 of 42
Thread Starter 
Ah ha!! I found the law I was looking for, but I dont understand it, is it inacted or is it just on the senate table? May be one of you can tell me...

http://assembly.state.ny.us/leg/?bn=A05468

thanks again!!!
post #9 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by spero View Post
WHAT form? There is no form in NY, except in NYC. You need to write a letter for an exemption. DO NOT give the school any form!



No, no no. That is NOT right.

I'm near you, and will PM you.



Nope. And I would never use a philo exemption anyway - it's the least likely to stand up in court IMO. You are guaranteed religious freedom by the Constitution.
Trust me there is a form and they can make you use it in upstate NY, and they can be nasty about it. I got it approved but it wasn't a walk in the park. LongIsland did approve my exemption before I handed it in but I can't risk sharing it and having it get out on the web. I have to protect my son first as this exemption was hard to come by. The form isn't mandatory but the health department is encouraging all schools to use it so they have perfect rights to request you use it. Sad but true. It does have to be notorized and approved byt the superintendent or principal and they can question your sincerity.
post #10 of 42
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Trust me there is a form and they can make you use it in upstate NY, and they can be nasty about it. I got it approved but it wasn't a walk in the park. LongIsland did approve my exemption before I handed it in but I can't risk sharing it and having it get out on the web. I have to protect my son first as this exemption was hard to come by. The form isn't mandatory but the health department is encouraging all schools to use it so they have perfect rights to request you use it. Sad but true. It does have to be notorized and approved byt the superintendent or principal and they can question your sincerity.
OK. So now what? According to the bill I found they cannot harass you about your beliefs. I would think that it may be a good idea to put into the letter what the bill actually states about harassing the parents about their beliefs. I know that this bill may not be inacted yet, but it is still a good pull for parents, it clearly says....
Quote:
JUSTIFICATION: Legislative Background: Currently, parents of children
in school must show proof of vaccination of legislatively mandated
vaccines, unless they have an approved religious or medical waiver. To
obtain religious waivers, applicants are required to demonstrate their
religiousness to a level acceptable to the school. Claimants are asked
to submit to myriad and lengthy verbal affidavits or written question-
naires that delve broadly into their personal affairs to an extent unan-
ticipated by the legislature at the time the section was amended in
1989
.

Recognizing that this practice impinges on First Amendment protections,
regulators have been careful not to specify a mechanism for schools to
execute this function. Claimants feel they are denied the exemption
unfairly, based upon determinations having no apparent uniform criteria.
This has generated grievances that the process does not operate in an
equitable manner
. The intrusive nature of the inquiry, has led to wide-
spread appeals to the Commissioner, and litigation in the state and
federal circuits.
So, even though it may not be a law yet, I think the wording in this is pretty powerful, I would not have a problem using it. I think that sometimes the officials need a kick in the ass from what they can and can't do. So anyway, I am hoping for LongIsland to show and give me some help. I just wish I knew exactly what to do, and who to talk to.
post #11 of 42
Thread Starter 
Oh, hey, and looky here, I found another bill that is in legislator, and it is even better for what I need.....printing......

http://assembly.state.ny.us/leg/?bn=A03064

Quote:
JUSTIFICATION:

Protection of free exercise of religion demands wariness in granting
state entities the power to cast judgment upon a person`s religious
beliefs. This bill precludes the interpretation of the current language
reading "genuine and sincere" as creating a test that a religious
exemption claimant must pass
to the satisfaction of health or school
authorities. It makes the exemption dependent only on the filing of an
affidavit stating that the requisite religious beliefs are held.

The current common practice of government agencies scrutinizing and
judging a parent`s religious beliefs is inappropriate in a democracy
that values the First Amendment.
There could be concern that some
parents might falsely claim a religious exemption. But it is greatly
outweighed by the burden that the intrusive, prolonged inquiry imposes
on bona fide objectors forced to defend their religious beliefs. Includ-
ing that the request for exemption be notarized impresses upon the
public the seriousness of the sincerity requirement and will be a suffi-
cient deterrent to potential false objectors.
I love this one!! This is perfect, and I will be including a print off of it with my letter for exemption.
post #12 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by babytoes View Post
Ah ha!! I found the law I was looking for, but I dont understand it, is it inacted or is it just on the senate table? May be one of you can tell me...

http://assembly.state.ny.us/leg/?bn=A05468

thanks again!!!
At this point A03064 and A05468 haven't been adopted as law. I just called my local Assemblyman (Marc Alessi) to find out the status. He said that the bill was introduced in February but "didn't go anywhere" this year (it was never voted on) so the bill has been turned over to the state Health Committee and will be reintroduced in January.

Funny how they were so quick to ammend PHL 2164 to add the new TDap booster, but not this:
post #13 of 42
Unfortunately babytoes if the law hasn't passed it really doesn't stand. I'm not trying to be nasty, I'm totally on your side here as I've been through the ringer with this, but I wouldn't bring in copies of bills that haven't passed that might just make them leery of you. Just fill out the form, talk about how the practice of immunization is against your sincerely held religious beliefs, have it notorized and keep your fingers crossed that they don't ask for proof. They unfortunatly do have the right to ask for proof. If you have a of copy of the form handy it says that in it. They can't "harass" you so to speak but in my opinion asking for follow up documentation is a slippery slope. I HATE this aspect of living in NYS. I SOOOO wish I lived over the border in VT.
post #14 of 42
Don't bring up the "law" because it isn't law yet. You'll only be aggravating the people who have the power to reject your exemption.
post #15 of 42
I am in the same situation (Moved here from MI where we had a very easy philosophical exemption) and am now in panic mode! I have collected alot of great info from some very helpful people here on these boards and even some different exemption letters. All of them are so different it makes me even more confused! And of course because of this I have waited til the last minute! I need to turn in my daughter's physical and the religous exemption! UGH! If you get any good info please share.

Also to all of you out there with NY Exemptions is there anyone who could read mine and give me opinions? I really don't want to screw this up becuae my daughter will be devistated if she can't go to school. I know LongIsland used to help everyone but from what I can tell she is no longer around! I am working on it right now and need to turn it in next Wed when my daughter is to start school. I know I am pushing it to the last minute but when we registered her They said all the health stuff should be turned in together and I could not get her into the Dr here that was recommended until tomorrow!

If anyone can help please please please pm me!

Thanks,
Barbara
post #16 of 42
bt - this post has the links I promised you. HTH!
post #17 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by spero View Post
bt - this post has the links I promised you. HTH!


:
post #18 of 42
Ugh. Homeschooling is looking more and more appealing.
post #19 of 42
I'll be moving to NY next summer and my children wills tart school next year - where do you gett he "form"? I was just going to submit a notorized letter to the school? Wrong? Thanks so much in advance. Not NYC, Highland Falls/Fort Montgomery schools.
post #20 of 42
Thread Starter 
You get the form from the school your kids will be going to. I think you have to get the form for that particular school district.

I have to tell you, this really bunches my knickers!!!
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