Just got into a fight with the school nurse..new update post 107,I WON! - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 131 Old 08-27-2009, 11:55 AM - Thread Starter
 
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But I won!She was telling me that I needed a letter from my pastor(which I don't have one) to be able to claim a religious exemption.She asked my religion,and when i told her she couldn't ask me that,she got all upset.She even gave me a letter stating the city requires it!I'm in RI,and all it is is a form.I fill it out,sign it,and that's it.I've been doing it for 3 years now!

They also knew all of my dd's prior vaxes from when she was a baby.How did they get that information?!?I never told the school,and I don't remember it being filled out on her health forms.

Off to call the city and the state health dept about that letter.Hopefully I can change things!

Student mama to one awesome,talented and unique dd,15 and one amazing, sweet and strong ds,12(born with heart defect Tetralogy of Fallot,also on the autism spectrum),9 cats,and 2 gerbils.
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#2 of 131 Old 08-27-2009, 11:59 AM
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Congrats!

I've been fighting with the Providence School Department all summer, regarding their ridiculous "homeschool packet." I'm still waiting to find out if I won.
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#3 of 131 Old 08-27-2009, 12:48 PM
 
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Originally Posted by muldey View Post
But I won!She was telling me that I needed a letter from my pastor(which I don't have one) to be able to claim a religious exemption.She asked my religion,and when i told her she couldn't ask me that,she got all upset.She even gave me a letter stating the city requires it!I'm in RI,and all it is is a form.I fill it out,sign it,and that's it.I've been doing it for 3 years now!

They also knew all of my dd's prior vaxes from when she was a baby.How did they get that information?!?I never told the school,and I don't remember it being filled out on her health forms.

Off to call the city and the state health dept about that letter.Hopefully I can change things!

As long as you know the law...you can always win these types of arguments because 100% of the time, you know more than they do! As to you question about how they knew about past vaccines, your child is in the RI immunization registry. Not sure you you can opt out of your state's registry. I would if you can!

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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#4 of 131 Old 08-27-2009, 12:49 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Good luck,I hope you win!

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#5 of 131 Old 08-27-2009, 12:51 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by Marnica View Post
As long as you know the law...you can always win these types of arguments because 100% of the time, you know more than they do! As to you question about how they knew about past vaccines, your child is in the RI immunization registry. Not sure you you can opt out of your state's registry. I would if you can!

I'll have to find out if I can opt out.It's ridiculous that our dc's medical info is so available:.

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#6 of 131 Old 08-27-2009, 01:48 PM - Thread Starter
 
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The nurse is still pushing that I need a letter.Here is what the letter she gave me says:

Woonsocket School Department
Religious Exemption Regulations Decided Upon 2004

Students with religious exemptions for immunizations must provide a letter from their place of worship which documents that they are in good standing with said organization.These letters must be furnished according to the following schedule:
(as outlined in nursing procedure book)

For entry to school(at any level as a new student)
For entry to Kindergarten
For entry to Middle School
For entry to High School

This for Woonsocket ONLY.I don't think this is legal at all.any help would be appriciated!!Thanks.

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#7 of 131 Old 08-27-2009, 02:27 PM
 
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What does the state law say? State law trumps theirs.

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#8 of 131 Old 08-27-2009, 02:36 PM
 
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this old thread may help you. http://mothering.com/discussions/sho...d.php?t=953402

You may have to get a lawyer to assert your rights for you

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#9 of 131 Old 08-27-2009, 02:36 PM
 
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There is a judgement in the sticky from the Supreme Court that says you don't need to provide a religion since no religion officially opposes vaxes.

If you are really in a bind there is always this religion which was set up by Chiros as anti-vax called Congregation of Universal Wisdom. They will write letters for exemptions for a fee. http://home.comcast.net/~cuw/index.html
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#10 of 131 Old 08-27-2009, 02:43 PM
 
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Originally Posted by chaoticzenmom View Post
What does the state law say? State law trumps theirs.
:

 
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#11 of 131 Old 08-27-2009, 02:51 PM
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Originally Posted by chaoticzenmom View Post
What does the state law say? State law trumps theirs.
Exactly. School policy does not = law.
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#12 of 131 Old 08-27-2009, 02:59 PM
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Here's the statute:

Quote:
§ 16-38-2 Immunization. – (a) Every person upon entering any public or private school including any college or university in this state as a pupil shall furnish to the administrative head of the school evidence that the person has been immunized against any diseases that may from time to time be prescribed by regulation of the director of health and tested for tuberculosis, or a certificate from a licensed physician stating that the person is not a fit subject for immunization for medical reasons, or a certificate signed by the pupil, if over eighteen (18) years of age, or by the parent or guardian stating that immunization and/or testing for communicable diseases is contrary to that person's religious beliefs. It shall be the responsibility of the administrative head of the school to secure compliance with these regulations.
Fill out the form and provide them a copy of the law. I doubt Woonsocket has the money to take you to court over this. FWIW, a homeschooling friend of mine in Woonsocket has also had trouble with the officials there in that they demand more than the law requires.

The law does not say that you must attend a place of worship or get approval from your pastor. It says you must sign a certificate documenting your objection. That is all.
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#13 of 131 Old 08-27-2009, 03:05 PM
 
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Maybe this link will help http://www.vaclib.org/exempt/rhodeisland.htm

 
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#14 of 131 Old 08-27-2009, 03:32 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks everyone.I just talked to the health department,and according to them they can do this. I'm sure she is wrong though.She also said there is no law on vaccines in RI.??I'm going to print out the law(thanks 2xy,that's exactly what I needed).I guess I'm going to have to call a lawyer and see what I can do.I am so upset over this right now.Let's see how it goes at my ds's school tomorrow if the nurse is in.This is the Middle School saying this(dd's first year),my ds is in 3rd grade and I've never had an issue at that school.I may end up home schooling again if this doesn't work out,but I really want to fight this.

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#15 of 131 Old 08-27-2009, 03:50 PM
 
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Originally Posted by muldey View Post
Thanks everyone.I just talked to the health department,and according to them they can do this. I'm sure she is wrong though.She also said there is no law on vaccines in RI.??I'm going to print out the law(thanks 2xy,that's exactly what I needed).I guess I'm going to have to call a lawyer and see what I can do.I am so upset over this right now.Let's see how it goes at my ds's school tomorrow if the nurse is in.This is the Middle School saying this(dd's first year),my ds is in 3rd grade and I've never had an issue at that school.I may end up home schooling again if this doesn't work out,but I really want to fight this.
School official and public health officials routinely give out false information to parenst about vaccination exemption laws. They either know and lie to you on purpose, or the are clueless themselves. You have the law on your side and I would just print out the law, and confidently state that you will be contacting your attorney to get in contact with them since they are not abdiding by the law. Anyone that has eyeballs in their head, is not blind and is not illiterate can read the law. I can't see how they can try and make you submit a letter once they have READ the law for themselves

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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#16 of 131 Old 08-27-2009, 04:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Marnica View Post
School official and public health officials routinely give out false information to parenst about vaccination exemption laws. They either know and lie to you on purpose, or the are clueless themselves. You have the law on your side and I would just print out the law, and confidently state that you will be contacting your attorney to get in contact with them since they are not abiding by the law. Anyone that has eyeballs in their head, is not blind and is not illiterate can read the law. I can't see how they can try and make you submit a letter once they have READ the law for themselves
Yup.
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#17 of 131 Old 08-27-2009, 05:01 PM
 
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will this help? http://home.comcast.net/~cuw/index.html

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#18 of 131 Old 08-27-2009, 05:19 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Marnica,I think you are exactly right.I think in this case they just don't know what the law is.Juvysen,thanks for the link.I wish I could afford the $89 just to end this.But at the same time I want to fight it,so other parents don't have to go through what I am.I did contact a lawyer,I'm just waiting for a call back.I'll let you all know how that goes.

Student mama to one awesome,talented and unique dd,15 and one amazing, sweet and strong ds,12(born with heart defect Tetralogy of Fallot,also on the autism spectrum),9 cats,and 2 gerbils.
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#19 of 131 Old 08-27-2009, 10:05 PM
 
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If I was you I would ask that the school district send you their request in writing if they want a letter from your pastor. If they are STUPID enough to make this illegal request in writing, I would hand it over to my lawyer immediately because you have a very winnable lawsuit on your hands.

ALWAYS ask for them to submit their requests and questions to you in writing. You'd be surprised how easily this will get them off your back because by the time they get around to trying to find someone willing to do it, they have usually figured out they are WRONG.

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#20 of 131 Old 08-28-2009, 12:33 AM
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ALWAYS ask for them to submit their requests and questions to you in writing.
This, too.

The school department is annoyed with me because I won't provide them with my phone number. I do everything in writing, and want everything in writing from them.
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#21 of 131 Old 08-31-2009, 09:26 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I am going to ask for everything in writing.I'm going to stop by the nurse's office when I pick up dd tomorrow.I did speak to a lawyer today.There wasn't much he can do at this point,not until it hits the next level.I'm going to fight this to the end.I've been trying to get a hold of the principal,but no luck as of yet.Then I'll go to the superintendent.This is such a mess.I still have to see my ds's school nurse for his exemption.Hopefully everything goes right there.

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#22 of 131 Old 09-01-2009, 06:23 AM
 
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Good luck...

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#23 of 131 Old 09-04-2009, 04:03 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Well,my ds;s exemption was approved immediatly today. I'm still fighting with the middle school nurse for dd's,but I did speak with the principal's assistant today,and she is going to speak with him to see what is going on with this.I did tell her I need everything in writing,either a denial or my copy of the exemption form.There is no school Monday or Tuesday,but I'm meeting with the nurse on Wednesday,wish me luck!

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#24 of 131 Old 09-05-2009, 11:30 AM
 
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Cross-posted in the tribal area.

OK, so I just asked my DH (who is not a lawyer, but a second year law student) and this is what he suggested:

You should send a letter to the principal, certified mail, detailing your communications with the nurse and what the nurse told you was required. And then, referencing the state statute, explain that you have fulfilled the requirement of the law and that based on the statute, you do not have to do what the nurse is asking you to do, and in fact it is unlawful for her to have requested it.

I hope this helps you!

Good luck mama .

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#25 of 131 Old 09-05-2009, 05:36 PM
 
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Thanks everyone.I just talked to the health department,and according to them they can do this. I'm sure she is wrong though.She also said there is no law on vaccines in RI.
EVERY state has a school immunization law. Send her a copy of this:

Rhode Island Department of Health - Exemptions are page 10-11.

Quote:
Submit a certificate signed by the pupil, if over eighteen (18) years of age, or by the parent or guardian stating that immunization and/or testing for communicable diseases is contrary to that person's religious beliefs.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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 131 Old 09-05-2009, 10:11 PM
 
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Wow! Here in FL you go to the health clinic and ask for a religious exemption form. They are not allowed by law to ask anyone what their religious beliefs are. Super easy...in and out.

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#27 of 131 Old 09-05-2009, 10:38 PM
 
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Wow! Here in FL you go to the health clinic and ask for a religious exemption form. They are not allowed by law to ask anyone what their religious beliefs are. Super easy...in and out.
Funny, I hear the most complaints from Floridians, next to New Yorkers.

"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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#28 of 131 Old 09-11-2009, 05:02 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks everyone,Emmeline II that is quite a lot to read,thank you.I did talk to the principal and the deputy superintendent.Neither believes this is a religious exemption,since I will not tell them my religion.They are saying my dd is a danger to the other students,and that no one should be able to walk in off the street and claim a religious exemption.I also spoke with a lawyer from the Dept of Education,and while he feels I should only have to do what the law requires,he knows I will have to prove my religion in court.I am not a member of a specific religion!I know I don't need to be.I am so very upset right now,I cannot stop shaking.What can I do??I'm so lost right now.I have to appeal this on Monday and I am terrified they are going to rule against me.Why does my city think it is above the law??They all have said the dept of health supports stricter rules,so it's good woonsocket is doing this:.I feel like I just moved to NYC with how difficult this has become. Homeschooling is not an option right now,as I cannot afford it in any way.What do I do??I have severe anxiety and am terrrified of this.I'm trying to get things in writing but no one will give me anything!I want to fight this to the end,but I am so scared.How do I prove my religious beliefs when I'm not even sure what they are.I can't just think vaccines are dangerous.I know I will never allow another vaccine to be given to my dc.Their bodies are perfect the way they are.The lawyer did say he doesn't think there has ever been a case like this in RI.I am so upset,sorry if this post is hard to understand.I wish we had a philosophical exemption.WTF do I do??

Student mama to one awesome,talented and unique dd,15 and one amazing, sweet and strong ds,12(born with heart defect Tetralogy of Fallot,also on the autism spectrum),9 cats,and 2 gerbils.
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#29 of 131 Old 09-11-2009, 10:56 PM
 
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In the 1980's, Dr. Mendelsohn took the stand in Munsey, NY as a medical expert for an Orthodox rabbi who refused to vaccinate his 11th child. A member of the family died from a long illness and the family decided to live a more natural life. The rabbi became a Universal Life minister, and three of his fellow rabbis took the stand to say that a rabbi becoming a Universal Life minister and not vaccinating their child was not against their religious beliefs.

The rabbi won.

I think you are being given a hard time and being made an example of. There are plenty of lawyers, one in NC, and others through NVIC who can help.

And perhaps, get your state representative to introduce legislation to change the law so that philosophical exemptions can be had.

http://www.nvic.org/lawfirmdirectory.aspx

Under "tell your story", you can report this incident to warn others.

Maybe you start your own home school program. Who knows?
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#30 of 131 Old 09-12-2009, 01:23 AM
 
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Originally Posted by muldey View Post
Thanks everyone,Emmeline II that is quite a lot to read,thank you.I did talk to the principal and the deputy superintendent.Neither believes this is a religious exemption,since I will not tell them my religion.They are saying my dd is a danger to the other students,and that no one should be able to walk in off the street and claim a religious exemption.I also spoke with a lawyer from the Dept of Education,and while he feels I should only have to do what the law requires,he knows I will have to prove my religion in court.I am not a member of a specific religion!I know I don't need to be.I am so very upset right now,I cannot stop shaking.What can I do??I'm so lost right now.I have to appeal this on Monday and I am terrified they are going to rule against me.Why does my city think it is above the law??They all have said the dept of health supports stricter rules,so it's good woonsocket is doing this:.I feel like I just moved to NYC with how difficult this has become. Homeschooling is not an option right now,as I cannot afford it in any way.What do I do??I have severe anxiety and am terrrified of this.I'm trying to get things in writing but no one will give me anything!I want to fight this to the end,but I am so scared.How do I prove my religious beliefs when I'm not even sure what they are.I can't just think vaccines are dangerous.I know I will never allow another vaccine to be given to my dc.Their bodies are perfect the way they are.The lawyer did say he doesn't think there has ever been a case like this in RI.I am so upset,sorry if this post is hard to understand.I wish we had a philosophical exemption.WTF do I do??

I feel so bad for you, you are in a very hard situation. I would hate to have to justify my religious beliefs in front of a judge. Hopefully you can get this resolved before it gets that far. I keep wondering what they are trying to prove? I am surprised with all the different religions that they would try to challenge a persons beliefs. I mean anyone can start a religion right? You could have your own religion or 'church', i went to a college with a girl whose dad decided he didn't like the way his church was headed and started holding services at home with his family. There are some religions i'm sure that don't require church attendence. I have a feeling things may be harder with exemptions with the h1n1 scare and schools wanting to turn into distribution stations for the vaccines...I hope everything works out for you and your family.

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