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NC Homeschooling and Vaccinations

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
I've been reading the homeschool laws in NC since we may be here when my ds becomes old enough for compulsory education in this state. There's one thing I'm not quite clear on (well, more than one but the others aren't as important to me). NC has religious and medical exemptions for vaccination for children attending day care or school. I assumed that if I homeschooled, the state wouldn't care about vaccinations. However, it seems the state requires that I keep either an immunization record or an exemption statement on hand at my home. A friend of mine brought up the idea that it's an all or nothing thing in this state. You either have to get all vaxes on schedule or get none at all. You can get only certain vaxes and/or follow a delayed schedule unless you have a medical reason certified by a doctor. If one chooses to delay and/or selectively vax their child and homeschool, would they still be required to get their child up to date with the state's vax schedule once the child is school age? I asked the group North Carolinians for Homeschool Education and was told they don't know if you can follow a selective and/or delayed vax schedule. Anyone homeschooling in NC have experience with this?
post #2 of 9
i moved to NC from CA. i lived with my sister north of charlotte for several months while we house hunted. my children are vaxed partially (my dd til age 2 and my ds til age 6 months) and it wasn not an issue at all with our doctor in NC. she new i was a homeschooler, and i was never told "all or nothing". i now live in SC, but it's only 3 miles from the NC state line. i think your friend is wrong, but hopefully others will chime in and confirm that.
post #3 of 9
Do you mean legally? Or under the radar?

Cause legally, homeschoolers are subject to the same requirements as schooled children. However, no one can ask to see your vaccination log, except CPS, basically. There are some non-vax, selective vax friendly docs in the Charlotte region. Other parts of the state may be more limited. A few Peds are notorious for reporting folks for not vaxing on their schedule. :

Illegally, some folks homeschool or school with a written declaration of religious exemption and still selectively vaccinate. However, if the children go to school and you are ever challenged in court (ie. family not in agreement with selective vaxing, one wouldn't have a leg to stand on.) Medical exemptions are hard to come by. Philosophical exemptions do not apply in NC. Being military, you may have other "protections" from some of the state laws; however, I've never heard of them. Some military folks are exempt out of the country from foreign laws regarding vaxing, I believe.

And, it is (potentially) dangerous to get a child "up to date" all at once. And I'd fight long and hard before then.

Btw, the law reads that homeschoolers must 'keep a record of vaccination or exemption on file at the office of the homeschool'. However, the law doesn't authorize the Dept. of Non-public Education (DNPE) to review it. :

http://www.ed.gov/pubs/RegPrivSchl/nocarol.html
http://homeschooling.gomilpitas.com/laws/blNC.htm


HTH, Pat
post #4 of 9
Thread Starter 
Thanks, Pat and eliza. I meant legally, not under the radar. I've been told that it's not a problem if you used to vax and then stopped, which is what I did with my two older boys. My baby is not and will not be vaxed at all. I can still get a religious exemption because I can have a religious conversion at any time. My ped doesn't seem to have a problem with me not vaxing. The doc I saw gave me a mini lecture about it but said she respected my position. I've already dealt with CPS because my OB reported me for having a homebirth. Everything was unsubstantiated. About vaxes, the CPS agent asked me if my children were up to date on their vaxes but before I could say anything she told me that I did not have to have my children vaxed at all until they went to school.

I read the state law about having vax records on hand. The tricky part is that in NC if you intend to homeschool, you have to register with the state as either a religious or non-public school even if you only intend to homeschool your own children. Then you are subject to all the laws, rules and regulations that any other school, public, private or religious, is subjected to except the safety and sanitary rules. Your home can be inspected at any time by a school official. You have to be able to produce immunization records or an exemption statement upon request. Presumably, if you selectively and/or delay vaxes, you could not have a legal religious exemption in this state. I was wondering if there was a way to get around having to produce immunization records if showing that you follow a selective or delayed vax schedule precludes you from obtaining a religious exemption and, therefore, you would be required to get all vaxes. Technically, since those are private medical records, I don't see how a state official can demand to see them except that it clearly states in the vaccination laws that they must be kept on hand.
post #5 of 9

Ok, your interpretation isn't quite right. I'll try to interject my understanding of the law within your text.


I read the state law about having vax records on hand. The tricky part is that in NC if you intend to homeschool, you have to register with the state as either a religious or non-public school even if you only intend to homeschool your own children.

***This issue is really irrelevant. It makes no difference in the "requirements" whether you select option 1 or option 2.


Then you are subject to all the laws, rules and regulations that any other school, public, private or religious, is subjected to except the safety and sanitary rules.


***§ 115C-564. Qualifications and requirements.
A home school shall make the election to operate under the qualifications of either Part 1 or Part 2 of this Article and shall meet the requirements of the Part elected, except that any requirement related to safety and sanitation inspections shall be waived if the school operates in a private residence and except that testing requirements in G.S. 115C-549 and G.S. 115C-557 shall be on an annual basis. The persons providing academic instruction in a home school shall hold at least a high school diploma or its equivalent.


Regarding Part 1:
§ 115C-554. Requirements exclusive.
No school, operated by any church or other organized religious group or body as part of its religious ministry, which complies with the requirements of this Part shall be subject to any other provision of law relating to education except requirements of law respecting fire, safety, sanitation and immunization.

Regarding Part 2:
§ 115C-562. Requirements exclusive.
No qualifying nonpublic school, which complies with the requirements of this Part, shall be subject to any other provision of law relating to education except requirements of law respecting fire, safety, sanitation and immunization.



Your home can be inspected at any time by a school official. You have to be able to produce immunization records or an exemption statement upon request.

***No. You are required to "make available" the test results only. This can be on your front porch, or in a mutually agreeable location elsewhere. They have no authority to "inspect" your home for anything. There are only about 5 representatives of the DNPE and 57,000 homeschoolers in NC.

For one year after the testing, all records shall be made available, subject to the provision of G.S. 115C-196, at the principal office of such school, at all reasonable times, for annual inspection by a duly authorized representative of the State of North Carolina.


Presumably, if you selectively and/or delay vaxes, you could not have a legal religious exemption in this state.


True. If you continue to vax in any way, shape, or form at the time of your declaration of religious exemption. Prior vaxing is irrelevant. One can change their religious beliefs at any time, of course.


I was wondering if there was a way to get around having to produce immunization records if showing that you follow a selective or delayed vax schedule precludes you from obtaining a religious exemption and, therefore, you would be required to get all vaxes.

There is no authority which supplies a "religious exemption". You just state your bonafide beliefs in writing. See these for more detailed info:

This thread might help: http://www.mothering.com/discussions...on#post3959630

Here is further documentation to research your options.
http://www.vaclib.org/exempt/northcarolina.htm
http://vaccines.bizland.com/exemptions-NC.htm



Technically, since those are private medical records, I don't see how a state official can demand to see them except that it clearly states in the vaccination laws that they must be kept on hand.

Yes. It says "make, and maintain". The *Law* doesn't say "make available".
:

§ 115C-556. Attendance; health and safety regulations.
Each qualified nonpublic school shall make, and maintain annual attendance and disease immunization records for each pupil enrolled and regularly attending classes. Attendance by a child at any school to which this Part relates and which complies with this Part shall satisfy the requirements of compulsory school attendance: Provided, however, that such school operates on a regular schedule, excluding reasonable holidays and vacations, during at least nine calendar months of the year. Each school shall be subject to reasonable fire, health and safety inspections by State, county and municipal authorities as required by law.


It is very easy to homeschool in N.C. No worries.


Pat
post #6 of 9
In any state, nobody can require you to vaccinate "on schedule". As long as you have all the vaccines by the time your child has reached school age, there's nothing they can do. Even then, you have some leeway- for example, I started DS in preschool and gave the school nurse the dates the vaxes were scheduled to be given. He didn't have any vaccines at all before he started, or an exemption, and they didn't kick him out as long as I had proof I was getting them for him.
post #7 of 9
Thread Starter 
Thanks, Pat. It's nice to know that NC is not as harda$$ed as I thought. I'm not liking this state at all right now because of my experience after my homebirth. That whole situation has made me very fearful of some government agency insisting on inspecting my home and my children. So, § 115C-564 waives the safety and sanitation requirements for a homeschool but still requires the immunizations, correct?

That's good to know, Ruthla. What about selective vaccinations? Could one choose to have the polio and diptheria vaxes, for example, but not the Hep B or varicella? Or, is it an all or nothing thing in that regard regardless of when you have them done?
post #8 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by MarineWife View Post
Thanks, Pat. It's nice to know that NC is not as harda$$ed as I thought. I'm not liking this state at all right now because of my experience after my homebirth. That whole situation has made me very fearful of some government agency insisting on inspecting my home and my children. So, § 115C-564 waives the safety and sanitation requirements for a homeschool but still requires the immunizations, correct?
The homeschool statutes specify that immunization laws be upheld. There is a law regarding some specific vaccinations, such as chicken pox at a certain age. This only applies if one is a vaccinating family, going forward. BUT!! No one really checks except the schools, or if there is a CPS involvement. Like I said, there are some doctors who report if a family won't vaccinate. You can find a collaborative and respectful doctor through FYT or the AP Doctor Referral yahoogroup: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/AP_Doc...guid=287472904

But, I have friends in school who have selectively vaccinated and used a religious exemption. However, this would not stand up in court IF it were challenged, probably. Unless, they quit vaccinating. It is a very gray area. My adherence to the law, does not override my moral choices. We had a lay midwife for homebirth, for instance.

I don't believe that CPS "follows" folks from state to state unless there is an open case.

Quote:
That's good to know, Ruthla. What about selective vaccinations? Could one choose to have the polio and diptheria vaxes, for example, but not the Hep B or varicella? Or, is it an all or nothing thing in that regard regardless of when you have them done?
In NC, I believe if you've already received polio and diptheria, for instance and then sign a religious exemption, you are not required to get the chicken pox or Hep B vax, for instance. However, you couldn't *legally* claim a religious exemption and THEN choose the tetanus vaccine, boosters, etc. (But then tetanus vaccines are not necessary. ) And I could argue that for any of them.

It is easy to homeschool in NC!! :


HTH, Pat
post #9 of 9

http://www.immunize.nc.gov/schools/ncexemptions.htm

 

for religious exeption you can use 1st corithians 6:19-20. also, i am going for a degree in birth through kindergarten and brain development is crucial from birth through seven yrs of age so immunizations should at least held off until the child is 7  yrs old or to never get shots

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