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-   -   Which exemption for Montessori preschool? (http://www.mothering.com/forum/120-know-your-rights/638659-exemption-montessori-preschool.html)

traycanadian 03-20-2007 05:18 PM

I realize they can turn us away if they really want to regardless of whether we file a philosophical or religious exemption but which would you use? I've always thought it would be philo. because I'm all for making a stand for my principles (I carry a philosophical exemption around with me), however, when it comes down to it I'll do whatever has a better chance of being accepted.

traycanadian 03-22-2007 12:23 PM

Anyone?

alegna 03-22-2007 12:26 PM

In general I always think religious is better.

-Angela

traycanadian 03-22-2007 04:10 PM

Thanks Angela.

I'm leaning this way although the irony of it is almost too much to take. We chose the Montessori school because it's one of only two non-religious preschool options in our small town.

alegna 03-22-2007 04:13 PM

Tell me about it....

I am so anti-organized-religion it's not even funny.

But you'd better believe that any time it matters I have a religious objection to vaccination.

-Angela

knowerofnada 03-22-2007 04:20 PM

I'm not religious and I tell you that the religious exemption is so much safer and we will always choose this one. I learned this the hard way. I hink it's great that the philo. exemption exists, but we are all better off passing it up for the religious exemption -- b.s. or not.

traycanadian 03-22-2007 04:42 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by alegna View Post
Tell me about it....

I am so anti-organized-religion it's not even funny.

But you'd better believe that any time it matters I have a religious objection to vaccination.

-Angela

traycanadian 03-22-2007 05:06 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by knowerofnada View Post
I'm not religious and I tell you that the religious exemption is so much safer and we will always choose this one. I learned this the hard way. I hink it's great that the philo. exemption exists, but we are all better off passing it up for the religious exemption -- b.s. or not.
I read about your experience with the doc. That totally sucks.

I know I should submit the religious exemption but here's my problem.....we live in a state that's pretty laid back about these kinds of things (never had a problem with the ped, even) and it pisses me off that I need to pull the religion card.

I mean, I was the kid who, when forced to sit at the table until my plate was clean, would sit there for hours and hours trying to make the point that if I don't like it, or am too full to eat the spinach souffle (gag) I shouldn't have to. Meanwhile my brother fed the awful stuff to the dog or flushed it down the toilet and was back playing video games by 7pm. It's like that. So, basically, I will file the religious exemption but it is going to feel like feeding spinach souffle to the dog.:

But I guess I'd rather feel uncomfortable than have ds be denied enrollment in this school. On the other hand, they could still deny us if they thought we were total religious nutters who refuse medical treatment. I mean, they are a private school and can do whatever they like. Hmmm....it's really a bit of a crap shoot. Are they more likely to accept religious because they don't want to be seen as being discriminating? There really aren't any consequences for them for refusing us regardless of which exemption we choose, are there?

I can't believe I'm saying this but I think I just changed my mind and am going to submit the philosophical exemption. I mean, the public schools have to accept it and ds will be going to public school for K so this is only for one year. Besides, my dh (a very lapsed and bitter Catholic) will probably freak if I tell him I filed the religious exemption

Holy crap....that was a lot of thinking out loud. Thanks for listening if you got this far and thanks for your opinions ladies. Love to hear your comments on my ramblings (I think!)

Tracy

alegna 03-22-2007 05:14 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by traycanadian View Post
I mean, I was the kid who, when forced to sit at the table until my plate was clean, would sit there for hours and hours trying to make the point that if I don't like it, or am too full to eat the spinach souffle (gag) I shouldn't have to. Meanwhile my brother fed the awful stuff to the dog or flushed it down the toilet and was back playing video games by 7pm. It's like that. So, basically, I will file the religious exemption but it is going to feel like feeding spinach souffle to the dog.:
I'm exactly the same way. BUT with this I DO feel like I'm thumbing my nose at them. I feel like -here is the dumb rule, fine, I'll play by the letter of the law and there's not a damn thing you can do about it.

-Angela

traycanadian 03-22-2007 05:33 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by alegna View Post
I'm exactly the same way. BUT with this I DO feel like I'm thumbing my nose at them. I feel like -here is the dumb rule, fine, I'll play by the letter of the law and there's not a damn thing you can do about it.

-Angela
But a private school can turn us down if they want to regardless of which exemption we file. Does it come down to them being more likely to accept us with a religious exemption because they don't want to look like a-holes for discriminating based on religious beliefs (even though they legally can)? I admit, in the public perception, they wouldn't look like such jerks for turning us down based on our philosophical beliefs.

Alright, I guess I'm back to the religious exemption. Hubby's gonna freak.

alegna 03-22-2007 05:41 PM

Depends on the state. Here if they're certified by the agency that oversees daycares (and nearly all if not all montessoris in town are) they can NOT refuse exemptions. It's also my understanding if they get any federal $$ (for lunch programs even) they can't deny.

-Angela

traycanadian 03-22-2007 06:08 PM

Okay. I'm feeling better about this. I just refreshed my memory by looking at the state law re: vax. It apparently applies to all schools, public or private, that are subject to approval by the state board of education. This school is state accredited so I'm assuming they need to follow the letter of the law.

So why not a philosophical exemption if the law says they have to take it? Why would a religious exemption be better in this case? If they are both equal as far as the law is concerned.......

alegna 03-22-2007 06:19 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by traycanadian View Post
So why not a philosophical exemption if the law says they have to take it? Why would a religious exemption be better in this case? If they are both equal as far as the law is concerned.......
I'm just more comfortable with the legality of a religious objection. You can then use the same "reasoning" if a dr. or other authority wants to get into it with you.

-Angela

Deborah 03-22-2007 08:47 PM

The way the religious exemption works it has nothing to do with any sort of organized religion. Any personal spiritual belief that you may have can be used AND you don't have to explain it, just have it.

Most of us have moral and ethical standards of some sort. These rest on some basis of thought and consideration for others and for the world and for our own well-being. I have strong spiritual beliefs/ideas and almost nothing in the way of religious stuff, but I think it all sits in the same department.

Don't let all the official religious dogma stand in the way of claiming your own inner beliefs.

knowerofnada 03-22-2007 09:03 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by traycanadian View Post
I read about your experience with the doc. That totally sucks.

I know I should submit the religious exemption but here's my problem.....we live in a state that's pretty laid back about these kinds of things (never had a problem with the ped, even) and it pisses me off that I need to pull the religion card.

I mean, I was the kid who, when forced to sit at the table until my plate was clean, would sit there for hours and hours trying to make the point that if I don't like it, or am too full to eat the spinach souffle (gag) I shouldn't have to. Meanwhile my brother fed the awful stuff to the dog or flushed it down the toilet and was back playing video games by 7pm. It's like that. So, basically, I will file the religious exemption but it is going to feel like feeding spinach souffle to the dog.:

But I guess I'd rather feel uncomfortable than have ds be denied enrollment in this school. On the other hand, they could still deny us if they thought we were total religious nutters who refuse medical treatment. I mean, they are a private school and can do whatever they like. Hmmm....it's really a bit of a crap shoot. Are they more likely to accept religious because they don't want to be seen as being discriminating? There really aren't any consequences for them for refusing us regardless of which exemption we choose, are there?

I can't believe I'm saying this but I think I just changed my mind and am going to submit the philosophical exemption. I mean, the public schools have to accept it and ds will be going to public school for K so this is only for one year. Besides, my dh (a very lapsed and bitter Catholic) will probably freak if I tell him I filed the religious exemption

Holy crap....that was a lot of thinking out loud. Thanks for listening if you got this far and thanks for your opinions ladies. Love to hear your comments on my ramblings (I think!)

Tracy

I totally understand what you're saying about it being total crap that we (you & me & anyone else in our shoes) have to lie about being religious and not stand up for what we believe in and "cop out" using the religious card. Believe me, I understand. I wrote a total rant thread on this vax forum when I first joined about MDC'ers advising members to do this. I can't stand not taking a stand for what I believe in. I've always been the big advocater to everyone who knows me. I never back down. Never until this. It cost me way too much emotionally to battle this with the medical personnel. It is not worth it. Not only is it not worth the repeated harrassment you WILL face from the medical world, but you certainly run the risk of them reporting you to CPS. And it's not that CPS can do much about it (under most circumstances), but they will try their best and threaten and harass and put you through hell and back, as several here can testify to. They can't really do that if you have religious reasons for your decisions, kwim? That is discrimination. Regarding school, well you can't have philosophical there and religious at your ped's because the contradiction will be in writing for anyone to investigate. Consistency is the key.

Yes, there is a philo. exemption, and yes, I am sure there are people who use it and are satisfied with the results. I sincerely hope you are one of them and that you are not cutting off your nose to spite your face like I did for a solid year.

knowerofnada 03-22-2007 09:07 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by traycanadian View Post
on our philosophical beliefs.

Alright, I guess I'm back to the religious exemption. Hubby's gonna freak.
I missed your update before I posted above. I understand what you mean about the prob. with religious exemptions being you do tend to come off as some kind of fringe religious looney like Tom Cruise. This is not intended to offend those with sincerely held religious beliefs that oppose vaccination; it just SOUNDS like you are part of some fringe cult when you claim you are not vaxing due to religious reasons since it is not a well-known problem with any of the main religions, kwim?

That is the only drawback. But with that said, I still feel it is the best choice for everyone involved.

timberwolf 03-23-2007 02:17 AM

Wow I just dealt with this 2 weeks ago. I was registering DS to a Montessori school and had the form in hand. I am in Canada so I know it is against the constitution to enforce vaccines for regular school, but I wasn't so sure about private pre-school. I just figured they would call the shots (deny him) and that I had a choice to fight it by asserting my rights, talking about the Constitution of Canada or basically debating them. I was really nervous for like a week before I dropped off the form. There was one line on the form:

Are your childs immunizations up to date? Yes____ No______

So I checked off no, with no explanation whatsoever. And seriously this is what happened. As the school administrator started to look over my form I watched her eyes and just before she got to the line about immunizations I quickly asked her if they accepted visa. She looked up, said no, turned over the page and said "it all looks good" and she took my cheque.

I am still prepared for a phone call like "umm, we were just looking over your form and we have some questions..." But so far so good.

I feel like a bit of a coward, but I told the truth and will definately fight it out if they question me in the future. good luck!

LongIsland 03-23-2007 04:15 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by traycanadian View Post
Okay. I'm feeling better about this. I just refreshed my memory by looking at the state law re: vax. It apparently applies to all schools, public or private, that are subject to approval by the state board of education. This school is state accredited so I'm assuming they need to follow the letter of the law.
That's not what you think it means. Public health laws in each state include private schools in their statutes.

This means that a private school is subject to the same state public health law as a public school and that if a private school decides to enroll an unvaxed/partially vaxed child, they must obtain an exemption from the parent and maintain it. Public schools of course have open enrollment, but they too are required to obtain/maintain exemptions. That's all it means.

As far as Texas' special provision to protect parents with exemptions who enroll in facilities licensed/operated under that specific state agency - that protection applies to children who are enrolled in a facility. I just want to clarify that this sort of protection in no way implies that any child who walks into a private facility with an exemption in Texas must be automatically accepted. A child must be enrolled first in order to be protected by that Texas provision.

ETA New York provision so you see what I mean about the language in state laws:

This section shall not apply to children whose parent, parents, or guardian holds 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.

In New York, "school" means public or private school and this statement, which is similar in every state, simply means that an exemption can be submitted in lieu of an immunization certificate. It doesn't mean that a private school is required to actually enroll a student with an exemption.

traycanadian 03-23-2007 01:21 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by timberwolf View Post
Wow I just dealt with this 2 weeks ago. I was registering DS to a Montessori school and had the form in hand. I am in Canada so I know it is against the constitution to enforce vaccines for regular school, but I wasn't so sure about private pre-school. I just figured they would call the shots (deny him) and that I had a choice to fight it by asserting my rights, talking about the Constitution of Canada or basically debating them. I was really nervous for like a week before I dropped off the form. There was one line on the form:

Are your childs immunizations up to date? Yes____ No______

So I checked off no, with no explanation whatsoever. And seriously this is what happened. As the school administrator started to look over my form I watched her eyes and just before she got to the line about immunizations I quickly asked her if they accepted visa. She looked up, said no, turned over the page and said "it all looks good" and she took my cheque.

I am still prepared for a phone call like "umm, we were just looking over your form and we have some questions..." But so far so good.

I feel like a bit of a coward, but I told the truth and will definately fight it out if they question me in the future. good luck!
Hi there fellow 'Pegger! We moved to Seattle from the 'Peg 6 years ago. Can't say I miss the winters but I do miss the Canadian Constitution at times like this! I think Manitoba only has legislation enforcing measles vax anyway. That would be the only exemption they might ask for.

traycanadian 03-23-2007 01:25 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by LongIsland View Post
That's not what you think it means. Public health laws in each state include private schools in their statutes.

This means that a private school is subject to the same state public health law as a public school and that if a private school decides to enroll an unvaxed/partially vaxed child, they must obtain an exemption from the parent and maintain it. Public schools of course have open enrollment, but they too are required to obtain/maintain exemptions. That's all it means.
Thanks for weighing in on this LI. I guess I knew it wasn't going to be as simple as the law makes it seem. I am going to submit the religious exemption and hope for the best.

Thanks everyone for helping me work through this.

Tracy

LongIsland 03-23-2007 01:27 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by traycanadian View Post
Thanks for weighing in on this LI. I guess I knew it wasn't going to be as simple as the law makes it seem. I am going to submit the religious exemption and hope for the best.

Thanks everyone for helping me work through this.

Tracy

Please keep us posted!

timberwolf 03-24-2007 08:03 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by traycanadian View Post
Hi there fellow 'Pegger! We moved to Seattle from the 'Peg 6 years ago. Can't say I miss the winters but I do miss the Canadian Constitution at times like this! I think Manitoba only has legislation enforcing measles vax anyway. That would be the only exemption they might ask for.

Oh Hey there! Yep the winters are still the same, you're not missing out ha ha.

I am overall pretty pleased with the laid back atmosphere of vaxing here (so far my GP is very cool). Like I said it is really just next year for a few days a week and then he is in public school which should be fine.

Good luck with the system there, hey you could always come home

Terri

wednesday 03-24-2007 08:19 PM

I am an atheist, meaning I don't believe in the existence of any deity, and I don't agree with or follow any particular religious dogma. I do however hold the religious belief that vaccination is not appropriate for my child. In no way do I feel it is lying or deceptive to claim a religious exemption. The statute in my state does not say that I need to belong to any church or be following any specific dogma to be entitled to the exemption.

DH is an attorney and you should hear him on the topic. He's very into the clarity of language in legal statutes, like whether or not they are clearly defined. The simple fact is that you can't define a religious belief in the first place. A religious belief is whatever a person says it is, you can't "prove" or "disprove" what a person says they believe.

We don't have a philosophical exemption in NC so it's a moot point for me, but I agree with those who feel a religious exemption is "safer". It really is pretty sacred in our culture that you don't mess with people's religious beliefs, even when they seem kooky.

Deborah 03-24-2007 09:02 PM

Well put Wednesday! Religious beliefs do not have to link with or relate to any form of established religion. For example, someone could quite firmly not believe in god, but still believe in an ordered universe where evolutionary forces had created bodies that are capable of coping with illness. Now why couldn't that be a religious belief opposed to vaxing? It doesn't matter what causes the order if you believe in it and feel that it justifies your choice not to vax your child.

knowerofnada 03-24-2007 09:22 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by wednesday
I am an atheist, meaning I don't believe in the existence of any deity, and I don't agree with or follow any particular religious dogma. I do however hold the religious belief that vaccination is not appropriate for my child. In no way do I feel it is lying or deceptive to claim a religious exemption. The statute in my state does not say that I need to belong to any church or be following any specific dogma to be entitled to the exemption.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Deborah View Post
Well put Wednesday! Religious beliefs do not have to link with or relate to any form of established religion.
ITA that a religious belief does not mean that you have to subscribe to a particular religion; that has been very well established multiple times on this forum and elsewhere, even being written into the laws regarding religious exemption.

To clarify -- I was not referring to anyone who held these individual religious beliefs (outside of a particular denomination) as "lying" when claiming the religious exemption. I was ONLY referring to those of us who are admittedly not religious at all, and utlizing rhe religious exemption nonetheless (like myself). I should clarify myself from now on, since I always get misunderstood -- it never fails, no matter how obvious I think it seems to me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Deborah View Post
For example, someone could quite firmly not believe in god, but still believe in an ordered universe where evolutionary forces had created bodies that are capable of coping with illness. Now why couldn't that be a religious belief opposed to vaxing? It doesn't matter what causes the order if you believe in it and feel that it justifies your choice not to vax your child.
In my opinion, no, that is not a religious opposition; that is most definitely a philosophical one. The epitome of a philosophical opposition, in fact. Nothing in your scenario is tied to religion in the least. Spirituality, maaaaaaybe, but not religion per se. They are two entirely different things.

onelilguysmommy 03-24-2007 10:12 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by traycanadian View Post
Okay. I'm feeling better about this. I just refreshed my memory by looking at the state law re: vax. It apparently applies to all schools, public or private, that are subject to approval by the state board of education. This school is state accredited so I'm assuming they need to follow the letter of the law.

So why not a philosophical exemption if the law says they have to take it? Why would a religious exemption be better in this case? If they are both equal as far as the law is concerned.......
look at it this way- if you ever move to a state without philisophical, youd have to pull religion, right?
okay so then someone miught question why you didnt do it to begin with, etc and it might be a headache....

hopoe youve got it worked out!

wednesday 03-24-2007 10:13 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by knowerofnada View Post
To clarify -- I was not referring to anyone who held these individual religious beliefs (outside of a particular denomination) as "lying" when claiming the religious exemption. I was ONLY referring to those of us who are admittedly not religious at all, and utlizing rhe religious exemption nonetheless (like myself). I should clarify myself from now on, since I always get misunderstood -- it never fails, no matter how obvious I think it seems to me.

In my opinion, no, that is not a religious opposition; that is most definitely a philosophical one. The epitome of a philosophical opposition, in fact. Nothing in your scenario is tied to religion in the least. Spirituality, maaaaaaybe, but not religion per se. They are two entirely different things.
I didn't mean to suggest you had said anyone was lying...it has just come up in other threads before when other people said they wanted to use an exemption but they were uncomfortable "lying". I simply don't believe that it is lying, when the law clearly states a "religious belief" entitles one to a vaccine exemption, but religious belief is not otherwise defined.

And FWIW, I don't believe there is any difference between philosophy and religion. They are one and the same as far as I'm concerned. Look at Thomas Aquinas, one of history's more famous philosophers, spent his entire life philosophizing about religion. His writings have been extremely influential on what people believe about faith and morality and the existence of a deity. I mean clearly there is substantial overlap between the realms of "philosophy" and "religion," such that to me it is very strange that they're held up as being two separate things.

knowerofnada 03-24-2007 10:15 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by onelilguysmommy View Post
look at it this way- if you ever move to a state without philisophical, youd have to pull religion, right?
okay so then someone miught question why you didnt do it to begin with, etc and it might be a headache....
Excellent point. All but two states have a religious exemption, not as many have a philosopical one. You would need to maintain consistency.

So see why it is so compelling? :

knowerofnada 03-24-2007 10:22 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by wednesday View Post
I didn't mean to suggest you had said anyone was lying...it has just come up in other threads before when other people said they wanted to use an exemption but they were uncomfortable "lying". I simply don't believe that it is lying, when the law clearly states a "religious belief" entitles one to a vaccine exemption, but religious belief is not otherwise defined.
.

Well I'm telling you that what I am doing is lying. It is NOT a religious belief. Period. Multiple people today here have tried to tell me otherwise and I find that slightly offensive. I have no religious opposition to vax, so to me it is lying. I absolutely do not consider religion and philosophy one in the same; that concept is absurd to me. Nor do I consider religion and spirituality one and the same. You can certainly be religious and spiritual, but you can always be spiritual without being religious. These are pretty well-established concepts so having to exlplain them repeatedly today on this forum is frustrating me.

Bottom line -- I consider myself to be lying about the religious exemption, and I am angry at myself and at The System for forcing me to do this in order to protect my child in the best way I can. I despise lying and not standing up for what I believe in, and I strongly resent this country for forcing me to choose this path against my principles.

Sorry, I know I repeated myself alot. I do that IRL too. I know it's annoying. I guess I feel if I repeat myself enough, someone will eventually understand what I'm trying to say, since I don't explain things well.

wednesday 03-24-2007 10:53 PM

I feel like you're taking a really combative tone here and I don't get why? I am not "multiple people" and I have not been "trying to tell you" anything. I am one person who was responding to the OP's thoughts. After you quoted me and seemed to be taking offense, I tried to clarify my POV. I think I can hold a different POV without that meaning I don't understand your words.


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