NJ Religious Exemption Possible Problem xposted a little long - Mothering Forums

Forum Jump: 
 
Thread Tools
Old 09-20-2010, 08:19 PM - Thread Starter
 
Issibearmama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 37
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Last week DD started preschool at a private day care/preschool facility. I think I’ve done my homework and felt very prepared when the question of her vaccine record was brought up. DD is unvaccinated therefore rather than submitting her immunization record I handed in a signed and dated form from DD's doctor stating she had been examined in his office and was deemed healthy and fit to attend school. With that form I submitted the following letter:

September 14, 2010

To Whom It May Concern:
This letter is to inform you that, we, John and Jane Doe, as the parents and legal guardians of Janet Doe, respectfully exercise our legal right to religious exemption from immunizations as outlined by N.J.S.A 26:1A – 9.1. We hereby certify that the administration of vaccinations conflicts with our religious beliefs and tenets. Our religious beliefs prohibit the injection of foreign agents into the body.
Sincerely,
Mr. and Mrs. Doe
Mother
Father

This letter was not notarized but was signed by both myself and my husband. In addition, I included a copy of the NJ religious exemption law: http://www.state.nj.us/health/cd/doc..._exemption.pdf

The director seemed very taken aback when she reviewed our paperwork stating she had never had this type of situation. She even asked what religion we were, although, as stated by law she isn't supposed to. I told her we were Christians who belonged to the Congregation of Universal Wisdom. Being as this was the 1st day of school (they told me I could bring the medical papers on the 1st day) she took the paperwork and allowed dd to start school. She did tell us that the health dept is very strict and they might want to talk to my husband and me if they ever reviewed our paperwork. We said no problem and went on our way. The following day when I picked dd up the director asked to see me in her office. She said being that the health dept was so strict she was going to send our exemption to them to see if dd could continue with school. She also asked several times if I was concerned this would be a problem once she hit public school (this is a private facility but they do participate in state funding programs). I told her, no, since we were protected by law.

The exemption law states that religious exemptions stretch to all schools and child care facilities both public and private. I feel that as the director of such a facility she should have at least general knowledge of the laws that pertain to her industry and I am nervous that this is going to turn into a witch hunt.

What could/should be my course of action going forward? What if the director decides she doesn't want my daughter attending her school? What do we do if the health department contacts us? Any advice/support would be so very appreciated! TIA.
Issibearmama is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 09-20-2010, 11:27 PM
 
Emmeline II's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 8,558
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Ooh, I have the perfect link for you...let me go find it.

Ta-Da! Print this out and give it to the director.

December 1, 2008 N.J.A.C. 8:57-4.3 and 4.4 Immunization of Pupils ...

FAQ | New Jersey Coalition For Vaccination Choice


In the unlikely event the DOH contacts you just ask them to send you a written statement with their questions concerning your exemption and contact Gary Krasner (NY but similarly strict).

I would leave out this line in the future (Our religious beliefs prohibit the injection of foreign agents into the body.) It is better to avoid specifics unless absolutely necessary--KISS.

"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)."
Emmeline II is offline  
Old 09-21-2010, 12:15 AM
 
Otto's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Where the end of the world began
Posts: 626
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Emmeline II View Post
It is better to avoid specifics unless absolutely necessary--KISS.
Indeed. Turner v. ********* Central School District, in New York, went the way it did despite the plaintiff's membership in the "Congregation of Universal Wisdom."
Otto is offline  
Old 09-21-2010, 12:42 AM - Thread Starter
 
Issibearmama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 37
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Thank you SO much!

Emmeline, the 1st link is what I referenced for the director and actually printed out the part of the law pertaining to religious exemption. It's pretty clear language therefore I can't understand why the director is still questioning it. It was part of the medical info package I handed her. I'll check out the other link as well. Thanks to both of you on the additional info! Sometimes it feels like we're all alone here in our beliefs and rights in good ole' Jersey!

I hadn't planned on bringing our exact "religion" into the discussion at all but felt very put on the spot and wasn't sure what else I could say without sounded confrontational. If she asks what religion we are again, what kind of response do you think would be polite but appropriate?
Issibearmama is offline  
Old 09-21-2010, 01:02 AM
 
Emmeline II's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 8,558
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Issibearmama View Post
Thank you SO much!

Emmeline, the 1st link is what I referenced for the director and actually printed out the part of the law pertaining to religious exemption. It's pretty clear language therefore I can't understand why the director is still questioning it. It was part of the medical info package I handed her. I'll check out the other link as well. Thanks to both of you on the additional info! Sometimes it feels like we're all alone here in our beliefs and rights in good ole' Jersey!

I hadn't planned on bringing our exact "religion" into the discussion at all but felt very put on the spot and wasn't sure what else I could say without sounded confrontational. If she asks what religion we are again, what kind of response do you think would be polite but appropriate?
"Our exemption is in compliance with NJ law and we are not comfortable further discussing our personal religious beliefs with you."

Did you give her an actual copy of the memo? If not, I would.

"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)."
Emmeline II is offline  
Old 09-21-2010, 01:05 AM
 
Otto's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Where the end of the world began
Posts: 626
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Issibearmama View Post
If she asks what religion we are again, what kind of response do you think would be polite but appropriate?
About the best you can do, I'd guess, is to remain consistent but refuse to engage in any sort of debate of the detailed tenets of the CUW (basically, chiropractic made religion) unless you're expert. The New Jersey law should speak for itself.

For what it's worth, in Turner,

Quote:
More specifically, Plaintiff believes in a Universal Life Force, which is the manifestation of God in all things. According to Plaintiff, immunization interferes with the transmission of the life force and disrupts one's natural balance and, therefore, one's ability to receive the life force. In addition, Plaintiff believes that immunization violates the sanctity of the body. (]186 F. Supp. 2d 187, 189 n.2; citations omitted.)
[ETA.--Or what Emmeline said.]
Otto is offline  
Old 09-21-2010, 02:26 AM - Thread Starter
 
Issibearmama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 37
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Yep, gave her a printed copy of the that link which is why I'm surprised and confused by her course of action. The law couldn't be more self explanatory and absolutely should speak for itself.

I'll talk the advice and be as vague as possible while continually referencing the exemption statute. Thanks for the input, I needed some reasurrance!
Issibearmama is offline  
Old 10-20-2010, 12:27 AM
 
cellaigh's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Central NY
Posts: 1
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
.
cellaigh is offline  
 
User Tag List

Thread Tools


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off