Hi mamas. I am reposting from Tribes forum. there are no responses so far and I need an advice ASAP.
if anyone in NYC or NY state had the same issue with trying to put not vaccinated children in public schools, please share your experience/tricks!
Yesterday I went to CBO(community based org.) to drop off documents for my DS to go to their pre-k in September. The director asked for immunization card, and I asked her what was the procedure in case we don't immunize. She seemed to be understanding and called the department of health in front of me to ask them the same question. So the answer was that the reason for not vax has to be either doctor's prescription (which is rather non-existing) or religious belief. The family policy is not valid exemption for NYC public school system; and basically there only two other options : to vaccinate your child or send her/him to non vax friendly private school. Non of the two is an option for me. help!
Other than Mississippi and West Virginia, which only have medical exemptions, New York may be the hardest state to get an exemption. This is because New York law leaves it open for schools and school districts to aggressively question and challenge your religious beliefs against vaccines. So not only must you state in writing that vaccines are against your religious beliefs (there is absolutely no getting around that), but you might have to be very convincing. (The law allows questioning, but does not require it).
Going to a private school will not exempt you from the requirement of either fully vaccinating or turning in a religious exemption. The only difference between the two extremes of the most strict public school district, and the most friendly private school, is that the former will challenge your beliefs as aggressively as possible, and the latter will accept your religious belief letter without question. The public pre-K you applied to sounded pretty friendly about it. It doesn't sound like you'll have a problem with them.
There is no official form you must fill out (you can write your own letter), but this form is provided if you do want to use it.
In your religious exemption statement, you should be careful to not include any non-religious beliefs about vaccines. For example, don't say that you're afraid they might cause a bad reaction. New York considers that to be a philosophical objection, which does not qualify.
thank you ma2two, that was supper useful!
with that school I went to I already told them it's a family policy, not a religious belief(stupid i know, should've been prepared better). but i'll try to come back there with a letter any way and see if that works. in any case will be ready for the p.s. application next.
Along these same lines, anyone have experiencing using the religious exemption with silver nitrate ointment and vitamin K shot? We are due in February and I've been told that CPS is called upon refusal. Please help!