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#1 of 36 Old 07-18-2009, 12:18 AM - Thread Starter
 
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hi, i'm hoping to get some insight on filing an exemption with chicago public schools. we are new to this, and our doctor says cps doesn't grant them easily at all. dd is 3, unvaxxed, never been to daycare.. so we have zero experience. anyone have words of wisdom for me??

tia, warmly, molly
mom to hazel mae 7-12-06 and violet bea 3-18-09
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#2 of 36 Old 07-18-2009, 12:59 AM
 
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Not sure what your dr. is talking about- CPS has NOTHING to do with it.

I don't know off the top of my head if Illinois has a philo or not, but I know they have a religious and I haven't heard of it being difficult at all. And it's not like they okay or don't okay it- you just do it.

-Angela
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#3 of 36 Old 07-18-2009, 01:30 AM
 
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Originally Posted by alegna View Post
Not sure what your dr. is talking about- CPS has NOTHING to do with it.

-Angela
CPS = Chicago Public Schools so they do have to do with her situation.
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#4 of 36 Old 07-18-2009, 11:57 AM
 
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Yeah, they technically CAN deny a religious excemption.
That's why say as little as possible...vax is against your religion, period, do not elaborate!! If they think your belifs are not "sincere" they will deny. It happens.

~Marie : Mom to DS(11), DS(10), DD(8), DD(4), DD(2), & Happily Married to DH 12 yrs.!
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#5 of 36 Old 07-18-2009, 12:32 PM
 
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That makes more sense....

-Angela
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#6 of 36 Old 07-20-2009, 04:20 PM
 
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IL has religious exemptions. Submit a letter to the school. Shouldn't be a problem. Your doc is trying to scare you.

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#7 of 36 Old 07-20-2009, 04:38 PM
 
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here is the laws for IL: http://www.nvic.org/Vaccine-Laws/sta.../illinois.aspx

Quote:
Parents or legal guardians who object to health examinations or any part thereof, or to immunizations, on religious grounds shall not be required to submit their children or wards to the examinations or immunizations to which they so object if such parents or legal guardians present to the appropriate local school authority a signed statement of objection, detailing the grounds for the objection

If the people let government decide what foods they eat and what medicines they take, their bodies will soon be in as sorry a state as are the souls of those who live under tyranny." Thomas Jefferson.

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#8 of 36 Old 07-22-2009, 12:46 AM
 
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Be sure to google Department of Public Health Illinois, vaccinations, religious exemption. The Illinois Dept. of Public Health issued a memo to schools telling them how to evaluate the sufficiency of claims of religious exemption from vaccines. The law has recently changed, I think, because among other things, you have to detail every single vaccine you object to. I followed the statute and this memo and sailed through school registration without anyone batting an eye or saying one word other than, "okay."
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#9 of 36 Old 07-23-2009, 01:10 AM
 
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I already have a religious exemption for preschool. Does this mean I must write a new one for K detailing my objections to each and every vaccine?

Has the law actually changed, or is it only the Dept. of Public Health memo on exemptions that's new?

Are they pushing schools to deny the religious exemptions? Or to examine them more closely?
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#10 of 36 Old 07-23-2009, 10:35 AM
 
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They cannot legally ask you about your religious views. ALL YOU SAY is "the practice of vaccination is agains my religious beliefs." DO NOT ELABORATE. No matter what they say, you don't have to and, if you do, you give them reason to decline it. Say it over and over and over if need be.

~Marie : Mom to DS(11), DS(10), DD(8), DD(4), DD(2), & Happily Married to DH 12 yrs.!
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#11 of 36 Old 07-23-2009, 10:48 AM
 
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Illinois law says only that a parent need "parents or legal guardians present to the appropriate local school authority a signed statement of objection, detailing the grounds for the objection".

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


Quote:
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


Section 695.30 Exceptions

a) The provisions of this Act shall not apply if:

1) The parent or guardian of the child objects thereto on the grounds that the administration of immunizing agents conflicts with his or her religious tenets or practices, or

2) A physician licensed to practice medicine in all its branches states in writing that the physical condition of the child is such that the administration of one or more of the required immunizing agents is medically contraindicated.

b) If a religious objection is made, a written and signed statement from the parent or legal guardian detailing such objections must be presented to the child care facility or local school authority. The religious objection statement shall be considered valid if:

1) The parent or guardian of a child entering a child care facility objects to the immunization(s) on the grounds that they conflict with the tenets and practices of a recognized church or religious organization of which the parent is an adherent or member; or

2) The objection by the parent or guardian of a child entering school (including programs under the kindergarten level) sets forth the specific religious belief which conflicts with the immunization(s). The religious objection may be personal and need not be directed by the tenets of an established religious organization.

c) It is not the intent of this Part that any child whose parents comply with the intent of this Act should be excluded from a child care facility or school. A child or student shall be considered to be in compliance with the law if there is evidence of the intent to comply. Such evidence may be a signed statement from the physician that he has begun, or will begin, the necessary immunization procedures, or the parent's or guardian's written consent for the child's participation in a school or other community immunization program.

"It should be a rule in all prophylactic work that no harm should ever be unnecessarily inflicted on a healthy person (Sir Graham Wilson, The Hazards of Immunization, 1967)."
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#12 of 36 Old 07-27-2009, 10:48 PM
 
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Originally Posted by rmzbm View Post
They cannot legally ask you about your religious views. ALL YOU SAY is "the practice of vaccination is agains my religious beliefs." DO NOT ELABORATE. No matter what they say, you don't have to and, if you do, you give them reason to decline it. Say it over and over and over if need be.
Wish this were true, but Illinois DOES require a person to "elaborate", unfortunately.

http://www.isbe.state.il.us/spec-ed/...exemptions.pdf

I am currently trying to figure out how to do this myself without having to outline a false Christian belief. I'm currently studying Buddhist texts since it's the religion that most closely matches my philosophical beliefs.

Ali - Wife to Steve and mom to Zoe - age 7, and Ezra - 17 months (9/2009)
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#13 of 36 Old 08-03-2009, 11:00 PM - Thread Starter
 
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hi, OP here. thanks for the replies and information. oh, how i wish illinois had a philosophical exemption. i'm very leery of claiming religious grounds since that's not accurate. i don't want to lie, i don't want to make it harder for those who are sincere, i don't want to get called on it and be exposed for a liar.. i'm so angry that i'm not truly allowed to make medical decisions for my children without becoming outcasts. i don't want to homeschool. i want regular old public school. i want my children to be included in this fundamental part of childhood and society. sorry, venting. anyway, i have some time before dd1 goes to preschool next fall, so i have some thinking to do. thanks again for the insights- molly (and hazel and violet)
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#14 of 36 Old 08-17-2009, 07:21 PM
 
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Just saw this thread. We're in Chicago too. Here's a link that'll help you:

http://www.vaccineawareness.org/Illi...Exemptions.htm

They've got links on that page for how to write a religious exemption letter in IL, samples of personal religious beliefs, and the kicker: Illinois Dept of Public Health memos on what is and is not acceptable on a religious exemption form.

The less specific you get, the better. You'll be just fine.

Jen

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#15 of 36 Old 08-18-2009, 12:58 PM
 
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Mayer Eisenstein, MD, MPH - homefirst practice t/o Chicago area. He advocates for home births, most of his pedi patients are NOT vaccinated, he's written a few books on vaccines, exemptions (with examples on how to do it specific to Illinois) and he has webinars on the topic ALL the time. Get on his email mailing list and also check out his website: http://www.homefirst.com/ He also has a facebook page.

I have his vax book - short, sweet, to the point and great to give to those relaatives who want proof from an "MD" re: the risks/dangers of vaccines.

Best...

K
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#16 of 36 Old 08-18-2009, 09:56 PM
 
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Yes, Mayer Eisenstein has been a wonderful advocate for natural birth and non-vaxing for 30 years. He is also a lawyer. And he is in Illinois.
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#17 of 36 Old 08-19-2009, 04:54 PM
 
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Originally Posted by suga'lamb View Post
i'm very leery of claiming religious grounds since that's not accurate. i don't want to lie,

It's not a lie! I belong to the Church of Fyrestorm and we sincerely believe that the practice of administering immunizing agents is against the laws of the Church of Fyrestorm since our bodies were created in perfection.

The end!

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#18 of 36 Old 08-19-2009, 06:20 PM
 
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It's not a lie! I belong to the Church of Fyrestorm and we sincerely believe that the practice of administering immunizing agents is against the laws of the Church of Fyrestorm since our bodies were created in perfection.

The end!
What she said. Our family's belief is that our health is our religion, and that's no more nor less sincere than any organized religion I know of.

And amen, Sister Fyrestorm, lol!

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#19 of 36 Old 08-19-2009, 08:12 PM
 
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Originally Posted by suga'lamb View Post
i'm very leery of claiming religious grounds since that's not accurate. i don't want to lie, i don't want to make it harder for those who are sincere, i don't want to get called on it and be exposed for a liar..
The way I look at it is this... it doesn't matter what is specifically written in any bible. The fact is, once I did my research, I believe that vaccines will harm my child. There is no god that I am aware of that wants parents harming their children. And my god is no exception to that rule.
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#20 of 36 Old 08-21-2009, 04:07 AM
 
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Can anyone clarify exactly what is needed in an IL religious exemption letter?

Please, please give examples. The Illinois Vaccine Awareness Coalition website is out of date. It does not include the latest memo to school districts from the state health department.

I read the new memo from the state health department, and it says

"A religious objection must
set forth the specific religious belief which forbids the specific
examination, immunization or other medical intervention."


Does this mean I must detail my religious objection to MMR, Hib, Polio, Varicella, DTaP and Hep B individually?

I object to injecting impure substances into my child's perfect and pure body, created by God. Must I state the specific substance (monkey kidney cells and chicken egg cells and mercury and formaldehyde and aluminum, for starters) and then give my religious objection to it for each vaccine?

If I must do this, the letter is going to be pretty long, am I correct?

Where do I find out what substances exactly are in each vaccine??

Also, I object to TB tests, which inject toxins into my child's body. Must I include this in a vaccine letter? Or do I have to write a separate letter for TB?

Thanks very much for help, any and all of you. I have two weeks to pull this together, and my anxiety level rises each day. The schools in our district are getting more strict, as is the state. I think the Swine Flu scare is making them all crazy!!
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#21 of 36 Old 08-21-2009, 04:59 PM
 
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I too live in IL and although I haven't written my letter yet, I think It's going to go like this:

Dear Sir or Madam
ALL Vaccination is against my personal religious beliefs.
Sincerely...

I think the new wording is to try and scare off anyone who is 'bluffing' since IL does not offer philosophical exemptions. FWIW, You 'cannot' object to the ingredients of vaccines, only the process.

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#22 of 36 Old 08-21-2009, 05:04 PM
 
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Originally Posted by listipton View Post
I too live in IL and although I haven't written my letter yet, I think It's going to go like this:

Dear Sir or Madam
ALL Vaccination is against my personal religious beliefs.
Sincerely...

I think the new wording is to try and scare off anyone who is 'bluffing' since IL does not offer philosophical exemptions. FWIW, You 'cannot' object to the ingredients of vaccines, only the process.
As mentioned above, the new law in Illinois does require that you detail each vaccine in your letter.
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#23 of 36 Old 08-21-2009, 07:26 PM
 
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Originally Posted by sleeveless View Post
Can anyone clarify exactly what is needed in an IL religious exemption letter?

Please, please give examples. The Illinois Vaccine Awareness Coalition website is out of date. It does not include the latest memo to school districts from the state health department.

I read the new memo from the state health department, and it says

"A religious objection must
set forth the specific religious belief which forbids the specific
examination, immunization or other medical intervention."


Does this mean I must detail my religious objection to MMR, Hib, Polio, Varicella, DTaP and Hep B individually?

I object to injecting impure substances into my child's perfect and pure body, created by God. Must I state the specific substance (monkey kidney cells and chicken egg cells and mercury and formaldehyde and aluminum, for starters) and then give my religious objection to it for each vaccine?

If I must do this, the letter is going to be pretty long, am I correct?

Where do I find out what substances exactly are in each vaccine??

Also, I object to TB tests, which inject toxins into my child's body. Must I include this in a vaccine letter? Or do I have to write a separate letter for TB?

Thanks very much for help, any and all of you. I have two weeks to pull this together, and my anxiety level rises each day. The schools in our district are getting more strict, as is the state. I think the Swine Flu scare is making them all crazy!!
Here's a link to current (as of 2009) requirements: http://www.nvic.org/Vaccine-Laws/sta.../illinois.aspx

Honestly, I think you may be stressing yourself out needlessly. I've never met anyone IRL who has used the religious exemption and had a problem. As far as detailing each vaccine, I believe what they're looking for is not a list of the ingredients, but rather a list of the vaccines themselves, so that as more are added to the requirements, you are then obligated to submit another letter. They give excellent, acceptable examples of letters over at IL Vax Awareness, such as:

"1st paragraph:
To whom it may concern:

As (a) parent \s, based on my\our personal religious beliefs,
I \we object to the following vaccination , including but not
limited to, DTaP\DTP, HepB, Hib,
MMR, Polio, Varicella, for my\our child___________________.

2nd paragraph
State your personal religious beliefs. The following words are acceptable to the Illinois Department of Public Health:
higher power
prayer
scripture
spiritual belief"

I hope that helps some! Goodness knows no one needs any added stress these days. Good luck.

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#24 of 36 Old 08-22-2009, 04:18 PM
 
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I did write a letter following the guidelines you posted, Skyblufig.

I named the vaxes, but I didn't put in a specific objection to each vax. My objection is to the the entire process.

But, reading the memo, it is not clear to me whether I must state a religious objection to EACH vaccine separately.

Can anyone who has done in Illinois this clarify this? I want to follow the law exactly.

Oh, and I did name the substances in the vax (mercury, formaldehyde, viruses, monkey kidney cells, human cells, bovine cells, etc.) that I do not want injected into my child's body. One of the posters said not to do this, which I don't understand. If my religious objection is to injecting such substances into my child, isn't that the whole point? Should I take this sentence out of my letter? If so, why?

Thanks. --Sleeveless (Still stressed)
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#25 of 36 Old 08-22-2009, 05:30 PM
 
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I did write a letter following the guidelines you posted, Skyblufig.

I named the vaxes, but I didn't put in a specific objection to each vax. My objection is to the the entire process.

But, reading the memo, it is not clear to me whether I must state a religious objection to EACH vaccine separately.
Your religious beliefs can change, so you can exempt a previously vaxed child. You could also pretend your child is not vaxed to make life easier.


Some states, like NY(contact Gary Krasner for help -- On the NYS form they request that your letter:

-explains why are you are requesting the exemption
-describes the religious principles that guide your objection to vaxes
-indicates whether you are opposed to all vaxes, and if not, why you are opposed to some vaxes but not others

As long as your letter covered those 3 points then they shouldn't ask for any "supporting evidence".)


and NJ allow the state to question the sincerity of your beliefs; the following is VERY important.



-For a religious exemption you need to be "against the practice of vaccination". If you give your reasons to be against vaccinations as:

"I'm against vaccination because they use aborted fetal cells" - This is a philosophical reason.

"I'm against pre-marital sex and some vaxes are for sexually transmitted diseases." This is a philosophical reason.


Again, you have to be against the the practice of vaccination. For a more through explanation of why this is read the Wexler decision below.

-Also, you DO NOT have to be a member of a religion doctrinally opposed to vaccination. You can be Wiccan, Lutheran, Catholic, Jewish, church of the flip flops, and still claim a religious exemption do to your personal religious beliefs against the practice of vaccination. Dr. Mercola does a good job of explaining this in my Religious Exemptions link below (you may have to register to read it).

-One more thing, you do not want to include specific biblical verses as your interpretation could be challenged. You need to describe your personal religious beliefs.



-Require that all questions regarding your exemption be in writing and give answers in writing. Do not give verbal responses.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Religious Exemptions

The Wexler Decision

To find out what exemptions are offered by your state (for school and such) check here:
http://www.nvic.org/Vaccine-Laws/sta...uirements.aspx

http://www.novaccine.com/law-exemptions/



All states except West Virginia and Mississippi offer religious and/or philosophical exemptions, and the supreme court ruled that you do not have to belong to a non-vaxing religion or have clergy sign your religious exemption. Exemptions can be submitted in lieu of vaccination records (I would do it this way).



Quote:
State mandatory vaccination laws have their roots in the 1905 U.S. Supreme Court decision, Jacobsen v Massachusetts. A Swedish Lutheran pastor, Reverend Henning Jacobsen and his son objected to a law requiring revaccination with smallpox vaccine because they had suffered severe reactions to the first vaccination. The nine Supreme Court justices at the turn of the century denied Jacobsen and his lawyers the right to present scientific evidence for harm caused by the smallpox vaccine, preferring to believe the lawyers representing public health officials who convinced them that doctors could predict ahead of time who would be injured by vaccination.
100wds.



A US Federal Court ruling (binding on NY only) that determined that you do not have to belong to a particular religion to use a religious exemption is:
Sherr v. Northport-East Northport Union Free Sch. Dist., 672 F. Supp. 81, 89-90 (E.D. N.Y. 1987)
http://www.vaclib.org/exempt/consent.htm

http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/vac-gen/...es_chptr13.htm


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

"It should be a rule in all prophylactic work that no harm should ever be unnecessarily inflicted on a healthy person (Sir Graham Wilson, The Hazards of Immunization, 1967)."
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#26 of 36 Old 08-26-2009, 10:51 PM
 
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-One more thing, you do not want to include specific biblical verses as your interpretation could be challenged. You need to describe your personal religious beliefs.

Actually, this is NOT true. They can NOT question a person's personal religious interpretation of the biblical text. This is what makes a "personal religious exemption" personal.

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#27 of 36 Old 08-26-2009, 11:02 PM
 
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As mentioned above, the new law in Illinois does require that you detail each vaccine in your letter.
I live in Illinois and enrolled K and preK students in public school this fall. I was not asked to list specific vaxes and I was not asked to give any explanation of my religous beliefs.

My letter went something like this...

"The vaccination of our children conflicts with our religious beliefs. We decline all vaccinations and other immunizing agents for <child A>, <child B>.

My advice....go generic and elaborate only when/if asked. Heck we didn't even submit the letter until they asked.
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#28 of 36 Old 08-27-2009, 12:33 AM
 
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Originally Posted by MyZoeJane View Post
Actually, this is NOT true. They can NOT question a person's personal religious interpretation of the biblical text. This is what makes a "personal religious exemption" personal.
Clearly, you do not live in NYC; whose exemption process the post is based.

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#29 of 36 Old 08-27-2009, 09:50 PM
 
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Clearly, you do not live in NYC; whose exemption process the post is based.
Whoops, I must be confused. I thought this thread was about exemptions in Chicago Public Schools?

My attorney (here in IL) explained to me that my interpretation of a biblical passage could not be scrutinized. He also told me that I should use the same specific language that is outlined in the state law when drafting my "personal religious exemption."

In my letter, I use a passage from the Bible in which God warns us against "mixing the seed" between animals and humans. This, I interpreted to mean that God would not condone me injecting Monkey Kidney cells, fetal pig DNA, etc, into my body. Maybe someone else might interpret this as God telling us not to have sex witha sheep, but do I not have personal religious freedom to intpret it any way I choose?

I'd love to see a case in NYC where a person's religious exemption was denied based on the state not accepting their interpretation of a religious text. I had no idea that NY State had the power to say that there is only one "correct" interpretation of the Bible! If that's the case, then I sure am glad I left NY a few years after I was born!

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#30 of 36 Old 08-27-2009, 10:00 PM
 
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Whoops, I must be confused. I thought this thread was about exemptions in Chicago Public Schools?
It is about Chicago Public Schools.

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