Got a letter from DS's school today. - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 22 Old 08-22-2011, 02:54 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I got a pre-printed letter from DS's school today, listing all the "required" vaxes he doesn't have (including a hand-written change from one varicella to two). The last line of the letter read, "Your child will be excluded from school, as required by law, if written verification of completion is not received in the school office by ___ASAP____." (emphasis theirs) 

 

First, we live in a state with all three types of exemptions. There is no mention of these exemptions on the memo. The assumption is, of course, that everyone will think that their kid MUST have the vaxes to be in school and they'll get them without questioning. Secondly, I filled out the exemption on the school enrollment form. The school nurse had to look directly at this form to see which vaxes DS had already had! (He had a few as a baby) I don't know if she just isn't used to someone using the philosophical exemption, if she assumes because he had some he must have all, or if she thinks I'll just get the vaxes if the school tells me I have to.

 

It's so frustrating! Whether you choose to vax or not, parents should have the right to make their own decisions about their children's healthcare. Denying information (like the existence of exemptions) to coerce people into making the decisions you (general you) think  you know what's best for them. If even you believe you're 100% correct in the necessity of a certain medical treatment, isn't it your duty as a medical caregiver to give the pros, cons, and alternatives and allow the patient to make their own choice? But I guess that doesn't count when it comes to vaccines.

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#2 of 22 Old 08-22-2011, 03:10 PM
 
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It is frustrating that they get away with claiming something is required and will omit that you can just submit the exemption. Not sure why you got the letter, maybe an oversight on their part? Maybe hoping that someone uninformed gets the letter and just goes along with them? 

 

I haven't been in this position, are you just going to call them or resubmit the exemption?

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#3 of 22 Old 08-22-2011, 03:27 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I called and left a message that I submitted an exemption with my paperwork and that I had done everything I knew of that was legally required and to let me know if they needed any further forms. I believe I made it clear that I would not be retracting my exemption.

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#4 of 22 Old 08-23-2011, 10:56 AM
 
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I hope they leave you alone. Unbelievable.

 

I just looked through DD's Kindergarten info package. There's a cute little book in there from the health nurse all about vaccines and which ones are recommended. I was happy to see that there were no threats and no tough language about having to have the vaccines to attend school.

There is also an info letter from the school that says we don't have to hand in any vaccine forms, but a health nurse may call during the year if they have any questions regarding your child's vaccine status. I expect I'll be getting one of those calls :) I'll be sure to let DH answer, lol!

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#5 of 22 Old 08-23-2011, 12:37 PM
 
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I agree - it should be law that schools are required to give all of the information to a parent. I just enrolled DS in preschool and the medical and religious exemptions were included in the enrollment packet! I didn;t even have to go online and download the form myself. That is the way it should be in all schools that legally have to accept an exemption. I think the problem is that most of the school officials are totally clueless about the laws.

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#6 of 22 Old 08-23-2011, 09:44 PM
 
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#7 of 22 Old 08-24-2011, 08:30 AM
 
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That stinks and seems like the nurse is trying to see if you will "comply". Please let us know what happens!

 

DS's preschool mentions the religious waiver available in my state in the 2010/11 parent handbook but the exemption sentence has been deleted in the 2011/12 handbook, oddly enough. Nobody batted an eye though when I handed in our exemption form (DS most likely will not have further shots, besides a measles one maybe in Europe they will never know about). I very much dislike omission of exemptions, as it is done in all those handbooks and recent back-to-school articles. They all say kids require by law xyz shots, but never ever is it mentioned that there are exemptions (in most states), and especially articles in CA where they have philo ones... So annoying, and as a person who used to work in journalism for a while, very bad journalism to not present the truth/ all facts. Makes me wonder if the journalists get paid incentives to omit the truth.

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#8 of 22 Old 08-24-2011, 06:55 PM
 
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Originally Posted by nia82 View Post

So annoying, and as a person who used to work in journalism for a while, very bad journalism to not present the truth/ all facts. Makes me wonder if the journalists get paid incentives to omit the truth.


I wonder about that as well. There had been articles in the local newspapers talking about a Measles "outbreak" a year or so ago. The article quickly blamed non-vaxers for the outbreak, but failed to mention whether the people who actually had the Measles were vaccinated or not. It was so misleading and made me furious to read. There was another article written more recently about how the anti-vaccination trend flabbergasts the author, and he proceeds to talk about how the Measles almost killed him as a child. I couldn't resist, and has to write a rebuttal to his article. I'm not sure if they will (or have) publish(ed) it, but I had to speak my mind. I LOATHE how the media is playing into the pro-vaccine propaganda. Besides spreading misinformation, it is turning people against each other.

 

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#9 of 22 Old 08-25-2011, 09:04 AM
 
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I think you have done all that is needed.It is what I did here in Ohio and have not had issue with it in public or private schools.

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#10 of 22 Old 08-26-2011, 12:27 PM
 
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I have had those almost yearly... (I believe it is a fear tactic, or a get as many to comply as can)  Know your rights and pay attention to any forms coming home with your child.  

 

I actually discovered a form my son brought home and dropped on his bedroom floor (he was 6 or 7)  without my receiving it.  The form stated that there were vaccinations being given at the school on such and such day... If you didn't want your child to receive the list of missing vaccinations to sign and return. Any child missing vaccinations without a returned parents signature would be considered consent for any and all vaccinations... No signature = consent... I don't think so!  

 

I found the form on his floor in his bedroom beginning of the school day on the exact date scheduled by the Health Dept. to administer the vaccinations.  I dropped everything as I could not get through the phones early morning, and made it just in time to pull him out of a line!   I made it to the school with about 4 kids in front of him, he was so upset and scared, as he had tried to talk to the grown ups around him who ignored him!   I can not tell you how furious I was!  There were so many calls made, and a huge stink with the principle, as it was sure luck I even came across that paper.   BTW... He had a medical exemption, and they had mis placed it in the wrong file meaning, had I not made it, he would have been given that vaccination.  

 

I had even taken the time to make the principle, school nurse, secretary, and school councilor aware of the medical exemption form at the beginning of that school year!  For each child here in the US fully vaccinated, the school recieves a yearly compensation or funding for that child. I can't remember the amount, but the more fully vaccinated children, the more funding for school supplies.  

 

My son is now 12, so this isn't something that happened back in the 60's or 70's this was 6-7 years ago.  I have a copy of the form filed away somewhere. 

 

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#11 of 22 Old 09-07-2011, 07:05 AM
 
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I'm a school nurse in Columbus. Hi! We do send letters home as required by law, with the "exlusion" date. And 2 varicella are required for grades K-1. 1 dose is required for grades 2-5. It is absolutely no big deal to request an exemption form from the nurse. Once it is signed for whichever of the 3 reasons, it is filed. We never need the letter again, and a note is made as a child is an immunization objector. That way we know and don't need to send the letter out each fall. There is a ton of paperwork for a child first entering school and of course that paperwork follows the child until graduation. Often it is the secretary who first gets all the paperwork, and if she is super busy, which he or she is, could very well have overlooked the exemption form. Therefore the nurse has to go through the files looking. So maybe your nurse didn't see it at first? I've never run into a family that was coerced by a school nurse for not vaxing or delaying/selecting.  It is not our job to "convince" a parent to vax or not, we just "have" to send the letter. Besides once a child has become of school age, I would think a parent has already decided to vax or not, or selective/delay vax, and therefore the school nurse is not the first person to explain exemptions are a right. And I wouldn't think we would be the first healthcare professional that a parent speaks with about vaccinating. BTW, I have been selective/delay with DS in Columbus schools, and DD has been no vax for several years but is now selective/delay. No problems from their school nurses!


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#12 of 22 Old 09-07-2011, 07:24 AM
 
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Dd1 just got her third letter in a couple of years, for her 14-16 booster. She is fully vaxed other than that, but she has an issue with eggs we are working on. Our form (Ontario) does say schools must have proof of immunization, but right under it says "If this student needs an exemption for medical, religious or conscience reasons, call the Immunization Team". I do need to fill out an exemption form though, which I keep forgetting about. After that, we're all good.
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#13 of 22 Old 09-07-2011, 09:37 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by columbusmomma View Post

I'm a school nurse in Columbus. Hi! We do send letters home as required by law, with the "exlusion" date. And 2 varicella are required for grades K-1. 1 dose is required for grades 2-5. It is absolutely no big deal to request an exemption form from the nurse. Once it is signed for whichever of the 3 reasons, it is filed. We never need the letter again, and a note is made as a child is an immunization objector. That way we know and don't need to send the letter out each fall. There is a ton of paperwork for a child first entering school and of course that paperwork follows the child until graduation. Often it is the secretary who first gets all the paperwork, and if she is super busy, which he or she is, could very well have overlooked the exemption form. Therefore the nurse has to go through the files looking. So maybe your nurse didn't see it at first? I've never run into a family that was coerced by a school nurse for not vaxing or delaying/selecting.  It is not our job to "convince" a parent to vax or not, we just "have" to send the letter. Besides once a child has become of school age, I would think a parent has already decided to vax or not, or selective/delay vax, and therefore the school nurse is not the first person to explain exemptions are a right. And I wouldn't think we would be the first healthcare professional that a parent speaks with about vaccinating. BTW, I have been selective/delay with DS in Columbus schools, and DD has been no vax for several years but is now selective/delay. No problems from their school nurses!


Thanks for your perspective. I know school nurses have their rules they have to follow. My big annoyance with it was the tone of the letter, plus the fact that she listed the few vaxes that DS had had, so she looked right at his vax form, which had my exemption at the bottom. But since I left my message, I haven't heard a thing, plus he transferred to another school and they haven't said a word either.

 


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#14 of 22 Old 09-07-2011, 10:04 AM
 
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We select vax. No way were my kids gonna have an extra chicken pox vax. I had the doctor pull a titer and they are both immune.

Sorry for your troubles.
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#15 of 22 Old 09-07-2011, 11:29 AM
 
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Originally Posted by minkajane View Post




Thanks for your perspective. I know school nurses have their rules they have to follow. My big annoyance with it was the tone of the letter, plus the fact that she listed the few vaxes that DS had had, so she looked right at his vax form, which had my exemption at the bottom. But since I left my message, I haven't heard a thing, plus he transferred to another school and they haven't said a word either.

 

 

I'm sorry the tone was uncool! You know I'm curious where your DS went and goes to schoolwhistling.gif



 


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#16 of 22 Old 09-07-2011, 11:45 AM
 
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Oh Columbus mama  what I wouldnt give to be in your area:)  We have always had issues, or school nurses coercing... maybe I have just been the exception to the rule... but it seems for my DS and family it has been an ongoing fight.   I have had the school nurse go so far as to contact the Mayors office, and I ended up in heat with someone from that office as well.  I was jaw dropped on that one.  Its been yearly hair pull for us, and in my eyes, almost unbelievable the extent someone will go.  I suppose it depends on place of residence, and possibly the year or timing as now more knowledge is spreading.

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#17 of 22 Old 09-07-2011, 01:07 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm sorry the tone was uncool! You know I'm curious where your DS went and goes to schoolwhistling.gif

 

He was going to Cornerstone Academy in Westerville and now he's going to Columbus Preparatory Academy on the west side. Both have been awesome schools so far as we've seen.


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#18 of 22 Old 09-08-2011, 09:23 AM
 
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Originally Posted by loveyourohana View Post

Oh Columbus mama  what I wouldnt give to be in your area:)  We have always had issues, or school nurses coercing... maybe I have just been the exception to the rule... but it seems for my DS and family it has been an ongoing fight.   I have had the school nurse go so far as to contact the Mayors office, and I ended up in heat with someone from that office as well.  I was jaw dropped on that one.  Its been yearly hair pull for us, and in my eyes, almost unbelievable the extent someone will go.  I suppose it depends on place of residence, and possibly the year or timing as now more knowledge is spreading.


This is beyond ridiculousdizzy.gif
 

 


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He was going to Cornerstone Academy in Westerville and now he's going to Columbus Preparatory Academy on the west side. Both have been awesome schools so far as we've seen.


Glad the schools are great! I'm not familiar with them, I work for Columbus City.
 

 


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#20 of 22 Old 09-08-2011, 10:15 AM
 
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We encountered dishonesty when dealing with out school as well. When we went to register for 11th grade the high school campus was covered in signs saying "no shots no school" in regards to California's new pertussis mandate for older children. Same message was on the envelop containing all the forms to be filled out for registration. We have to be informed and share that info with others because they're not going to do it. And I thought schools were supposed to be promoting values like honesty. 

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#21 of 22 Old 09-08-2011, 01:19 PM
 
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 And I thought schools were supposed to be promoting values like honesty. 


not public schools....they perpetuate a cycle of misuse of funds and lies. 

 

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#22 of 22 Old 09-08-2011, 08:02 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Irishmommy View Post

Dd1 just got her third letter in a couple of years, for her 14-16 booster. She is fully vaxed other than that, but she has an issue with eggs we are working on. Our form (Ontario) does say schools must have proof of immunization, but right under it says "If this student needs an exemption for medical, religious or conscience reasons, call the Immunization Team". I do need to fill out an exemption form though, which I keep forgetting about. After that, we're all good.


Ontario?  Call the health unit where you live.  Ask if they have a form online you can print.  Fill it out.  In our area it needs to be sworn in front of someone - so I take it to the township office and pay them 10$ to stamp/sign it.  I then send a copy to the health unit (keep a copy - they lost mine!!!) and give a copy to the school for their records.  Voila.

 

Not all vaccines are needed for school - but most are.  Here is the cut and paste.  If the booster is for a vax not on the list you do not even have to do the health unit thing.

 

"For children attending school in Ontario, a written immunization record or proof of immunization is required, by law, for diphtheria, tetanus, polio, measles, mumps and rubella unless there is a valid written exemption. Parents/guardians are required to provide this information to their local public health unit, and to update the information as necessary."

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