NYC Health Dept Breaks Law, Denies Exemptions. - Mothering Forums

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Old 04-29-2014, 06:42 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Look at this behavior in NYC.

 

NYS has always been a difficult place to assert any of your rights.

 

http://www.thehealthyhomeeconomist.com/new-york-city-health-department-blatantly-breaks-law-denies-vax-medical-exemptions/


"The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie, deliberate, contrived and dishonest, but the myth, persistent, persuasive and unrealistic."
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Old 04-29-2014, 10:27 PM
 
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This is scaring the you-know-what outta me.....
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Old 04-29-2014, 10:31 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Somewhere on youtube is a video of a school district attorney in NYS cross examining parents about their religious exemption. Gitti found it a long time ago. It is hard to watch, but it is quite revealing of what can happen.


"The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie, deliberate, contrived and dishonest, but the myth, persistent, persuasive and unrealistic."
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Old 04-30-2014, 06:04 AM
 
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Home school for my kid. At least we ****l have that.
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Old 04-30-2014, 08:50 AM
 
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Wait WHAAAAAT?

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At that time principals of those schools failing to demonstrate significant progress toward the 98.8% goal will receive a “Second Warning Letter”, an indication that they are in violation of New York State Law.

Why would the principal be responsible for MY child (speaking as if I lived in NYS which thankfully I do not, although not that far away)???  Again I find myself sitting at work mouthing WTF over and over again.  I can almost see them being sneaky with religious exemptions, but a signed medical exemption????  WTF?! banghead.gif

 

Did I fall asleep and wake up in the hunger games?  Parents will now need to be lined up ready to fight over who gets their exemptions in first to be "one of the chosen" who gets to protect their child???!?!?@!!?@?!  I just can't.......I would be living in a cardboard box under a bridge paying lawyer fees out my a$$ to fight that (although I do happen to have a lawyer friend or two I'd be looking for favors from) but I ****l cannot wrap my head around how they can so blatantly and illegally proceed with this and not even bat an eye?!? censored.gif

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Old 04-30-2014, 02:47 PM
 
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When we lived in NYC, my homeschooled 5-year old wanted to try out the public school (we happened to live in one of the best districts- ps 107 in park slope, Brooklyn). He went for enrollment and was checking things out when 3 weeks later I got a letter in the mail that my exemption request had been denied. Granted they said I should resubmit it (I used a letter I found online, but they needed to hear it in my own words, the denial said.

I FREAKED OUT and called a lawyer highly recommended for vaccine exemptions right away. She immediately asked if it was from so and so (Don't remember her name) - and it was. She then told me she (that superintendent or whatever title) notoriously rejected every exemption "request"- I hate that term. I'm really not fond of asking permission to exercise my constitutional rights.

She then told me to expect a hearing for proof of authenticity.

I pulled him out on his 28th day and wrote a super letter anyway; I was so angry. Fortunately, my boy hated school (normal school) anyway, but the fact that if he wanted to stay or loved it that I would have to prove to a judge and board of some sort that my belief that the universe ought not be messed with was a religious belief was offensive and degrading. Religious beliefs just have to be "personal", but I have a feeling it wouldn't have passed. I was considering pretending to be Christian scientist. I got a wallet card for my ULC (Universal Life Chruch - kinda fun, actually) ordination. But ended up not pursuing. It did feel good to sign the letter Rev. Dr. Though! I bought a PhD in metaphysics to complement (;

Rev. Agnieszka Popovich, PhD (no, not my real name!)
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Old 04-30-2014, 02:57 PM
 
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Also wanted to add that the lawyer said if I wanted her to write the letter, it would be $895.

Ok, so it let me edit the other post, so I'll add some more here, because I can't see how to delete the comment.

I would like to know what the difference(s) is/are between philosophical and religious exemptions. Religion is philosophy... For the record, I'm atheist, but I do sincerely believe that nature is way smarter than us (and yes, we're part of nature and I'm not quite crunchy enough to say Mother Nature, but that's another discussion). Isn't religion a philosophy on life? I have never understood the distinction, but maybe it's because I didn't grow up with any god-type religion. If my philosophy for living my life (which is ever-changing) is a strong moral compass, is that not the same as saying, "god told me not to, so I don't"?

I would think people who have actually examined their beliefs would be more trusted than those who blindly follow religious dogma of some sort (I am not not not saying if you are religious you are blindly following anything- but there are certainly a lot of people raised in a religion who just keep doing it because they're told to, etc.).

I apologize- I don't know how to speak about religion to people who aren't also atheist (or at least non-judeo-christian religious). I really mean no offense and am trying to understand the difference perceived between the two and why my belief would be less worthy than yours. I respect all peoples' beliefs and the roles they may play for you personally.
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Old 04-30-2014, 10:53 PM
 
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Originally Posted by StellaNYC View Post

Home school for my kid. At least we ****l have that.

 

For now...

 

See:

http://homeschoolers.org/homeschooling-info/mn-homeschooling-laws-forms/immunizations/

http://www.rense.com/general49/wwv.htm

etc.

 

 : /

 

Just like the disappearance of the philosophical exemption, this will creep in pretty soon, I think.

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Old 05-01-2014, 06:37 PM
 
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^^ seriously?!?
Would it help if we moved to New Jersey? Anybody familiar with their laws?
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Old 05-01-2014, 07:45 PM
 
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Originally Posted by aggie pop View Post

Also wanted to add that the lawyer said if I wanted her to write the letter, it would be $895.

Ok, so it let me edit the other post, so I'll add some more here, because I can't see how to delete the comment.

I would like to know what the difference(s) is/are between philosophical and religious exemptions. Religion is philosophy... For the record, I'm atheist, but I do sincerely believe that nature is way smarter than us (and yes, we're part of nature and I'm not quite crunchy enough to say Mother Nature, but that's another discussion). Isn't religion a philosophy on life? I have never understood the distinction, but maybe it's because I didn't grow up with any god-type religion. If my philosophy for living my life (which is ever-changing) is a strong moral compass, is that not the same as saying, "god told me not to, so I don't"?

I would think people who have actually examined their beliefs would be more trusted than those who blindly follow religious dogma of some sort (I am not not not saying if you are religious you are blindly following anything- but there are certainly a lot of people raised in a religion who just keep doing it because they're told to, etc.).

I apologize- I don't know how to speak about religion to people who aren't also atheist (or at least non-judeo-christian religious). I really mean no offense and am trying to understand the difference perceived between the two and why my belief would be less worthy than yours. I respect all peoples' beliefs and the roles they may play for you personally.

Yikes - almost 900 just to write a letter!?! I don't even have that much in my checking acct, holy crap huh.gif!

 

I dislike the notion that religion is separate from philosophy because I too find they go hand in hand.  I was raised Roman Catholic, but once I hit 18 I was done, I'm sorta non-affiliated at this point.  But I don't think that because I don't follow a particular religion it means I can't have strong beliefs.  It does bother me a bit that I have to file for a religious exemption when DD goes to school.  She won't get a medical exemption, and philosophical isn't an option here even though it would certainly fit us better.  And now with places like NY denying even medical, everyone will be watching to see just how much of a fight people put up over it.  If no one fights back, they will have sadly gained a leg up and will motivate other states to follow similar patterns with hopes that parents there also "shut up and take it".  Ugh.

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Old 05-01-2014, 07:46 PM
 
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I remember recently reading things about NJ being worse and with many new bills for mandates.

I left the country and money talks here, so my children are safe. If you like New York (I grew up on LI, went to uni in Pittsburgh but then lived in Manhattan for 9 years and Brooklyn for 3- I *used to* Love NY!), find a school district that doesn't get many exemption requests. First hand, my sister in Suffolk county was able to get religious exemptions for her kids because the request rate isn't high (the school nurse told her this).

But, long term if homeschool ers were required to vaccinate and you don't, go off the grid. Our maybe you have a relative who is a doctor who can help you get documents. Or leave the country. Sadly, this was part of the overall loss of civil liberties that had me crying and scared every night. I don't feel that anymore. Extreme? Yeah, I guess to some people it would seem so. I couldn't handle the erosion and lies anymore.

Sorry for the personal tangent, but I am very frightened for you guys up there.
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Old 05-01-2014, 08:51 PM
 
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I'm scared too. I didn't know it was this bad.
Thank you for your in-depth reply. Scared me sh!tless, but it helps me be prepared. Any other info/help would be greatly appreciated.

How do we fight this?
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Old 05-01-2014, 09:37 PM - Thread Starter
 
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NJ REQUIRES all babies to have the flu vaccine to be in daycare. NJ has lots of chemical and drug companies. They lobby the govt for privileges.

 

When my children went to school, 30+ yrs ago, I went in prepared.

I  copy of the law for exemptions, the important parts highlighted, and if there were any problems I was ready to call my attorney.

Remember, this was before there was the internet and NVIC, so I had to schlep my little ones to the library and find the law and make a copy. 

 

I remember Dr. Mendelsohn, an observant Jew, telling a story in 1984 about being the expert medical witness for a Hasidic Rabbi in Muncie, NY who did not want to vaccinate his 11th child. The family had a desire the live a more natural life after watching a beloved grandfather die. The Hasidic Rabbi became a Minister in the Universal LIfe Church, and two of his rabbi friends testified that it was perfectly fine that a Hasidic Rabbi be a minister in the ULC.  The case was won. This was a while ago, so things have been contentious for a long time in NYS.  Dr. Mendelsohn's son-in-law is a rabbi. 


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Old 05-01-2014, 10:55 PM
 
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Originally Posted by StellaNYC View Post

I'm scared too. I didn't know it was this bad.
Thank you for your in-depth reply. Scared me sh!tless, but it helps me be prepared. Any other info/help would be greatly appreciated.

How do we fight this?

 

I can think of a couple of ways.

 

The easiest would be to actually join a christian science church (although proving membership in a religious organization is not standard and, iirc, was declared unconstitutional) if you have a problem with lying.  I don't care what anyone thinks: I will lie to protect my children.  I that means I have to say I'm orthodox, scientologist (though it wasn't clear to me that they are actually against vaccines, just psychiatric drugs, so research that one first if you want to explore your fake religious options).  Yes, it's lying.  People judge.  I don't encourage it, but it is defensible, imho, when the other guy isn't playing fair either. 

 

The second would be to actually form a church that has, as one of its tenets (only tenet?) that vaccines are a sin.  You get a bunch of members and form a non-profit somehow.  I have no idea.  There was talk of something like this in upstate NY about 8 years ago; I thought it was a *wonderful* idea, but I don't think it exists yet.

 

Bureaucracy and $$$ - the most annoying and expensive, option, probably.  You could start small - write letters.  Sign them "A constituent", possibly, to be safe.

 

The problem with fighting it is that you are exposed.  The problem with not fighting for fear of being exposed is that other people are hiding too and you may never know how many are out there if everyone is afraid to speak up/sit it/rally, etc.  I've watched too many people who thought they were going to be supported be ridiculed when they did take a stand, which is a shame.  I do not like to reveal personal details online, but I can't help it when I feel like I actually have a real opportunity to help (then I get paranoid and change details or leave for a bit or delete the accounts, etc).  I used to try to educate about it, but I stopped because I got scared.  Even in my new country, I won't speak out against or say anything at all.  Maybe when my children are grown up.

 

My favourite is the forming a church idea.  But religious exemptions surely can't be too far behind either.  I'll join your church.  I'm sorry I didn't start it so you could join...

 

I do think the ULC should be tested against NYS vaccine exemption officials.  It *could* work.  It seems almost too easy though.  They also state, however, that you should do what is in accordance to your government's laws.  But their first rule is that you may do or believe or practice anything as long as it is not infringing upon the rights of others.

 

I'm sure I'll think of more - and so will others.

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Old 05-01-2014, 11:06 PM - Thread Starter
 
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The only religion that would not allow vaccinations would be Christian Science. Maybe Rastafarians. That might be fun.

 

Scientologists prohibit psychiatric drugs.


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Old 05-01-2014, 11:22 PM
 
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The only religion that would not allow vaccinations would be Christian Science. Maybe Rastafarians. That might be fun.

 

Scientologists are only against psychiatric drugs.

 

I thought also Orthodox Jewish (Hasid?).  The vaccines aren't kosher - i think that was the argument.

 

Rastafarians :D  Well, they probably don't care too much.  Or they do, but haven't gotten around to doing anything about it yet (I say that lovingly- many of our friends are rasta.  There is no anti-vaccine movement here to speak of and one told me about his new baby getting shots and how sad they were to have to take them - or they will come find you in the white van.  yes, obamacare is a bad idea if you want to lay low... I'll take old-fashioned corruption over the corporate cronyism any day).

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Old 05-01-2014, 11:22 PM
 
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^^ seriously?!?

Would it help if we moved to New Jersey? Anybody familiar with their laws?

 



In your shoes, I would seriously consider New Jersey. The vax laws are comparable New York's, but their homeschool laws are surprisingly libertarian. If you homeschool in NYS, the state will be breathing down your back. They have really strict and invasive homeschooling laws, IMHO.

Even in NJ, you will need to stay vigilant. Sen. Weinberg recently tried to introduce legislation to force all homeschooled children to comply with school-based vaccine laws. AND the law would have required an *annual* physical for them. irked.gif Thankfully, the measure died, but it won't be the last time that the state tries to take parental rights away.

In either state, consider joining the Homeschool Legal Defense Association ( www.hslda.org ) I'm NOT fond of their views on marriage equality, so it was hard for me. But they're the only group of their kind. For $120/year, they'll provide legal counsel any time you need it to maintain your rights as a homeschooler. They're also very pro-informed consent and pro-choice with vaccines.

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Old 05-02-2014, 12:00 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I thought also Orthodox Jewish (Hasid?).  The vaccines aren't kosher - i think that was the argument.

 

Rastafarians :D  Well, they probably don't care too much.  Or they do, but haven't gotten around to doing anything about it yet (I say that lovingly- many of our friends are rasta.  There is no anti-vaccine movement here to speak of and one told me about his new baby getting shots and how sad they were to have to take them - or they will come find you in the white van.  yes, obamacare is a bad idea if you want to lay low... I'll take old-fashioned corruption over the corporate cronyism any day).

Vaccines are not kosher in my Torah, but per se, Orthodox or Hasidic Jews do usually go for vaccination. Salk and Sabin were proud Jews.  If you read the book of Leviticus and the laws for clean and unclean, it is obvious that vaccines should not be allowed.  As far as kosher for medications, if it is to SAVE a life, a medicine is fine.  For example, thyroid medication is often made from porcine glands, but to save a person's life, I believe it is OK. Vaccines are generally allowed. In my post 13, I described a law suit 30 yrs ago involving a Hasidic rabbi's family.  That little boy is all grown up now!


I would think that Mormons would be against vaccines since they do not believe in contaminating their bodies with tobacco, caffeine, soda, but no, vaccines are fine.


Seventh Day Adventists allow for vaccination - they started most of the health food store movement, but they also run hospitals. eg, Loma Linda.


Jehovah Witnesses used to be against vaccinations, but now they leave it up to the conscience of the family.


I do not understand why the Vatican allows fetal tissue to be fine for vaccination. That does not make sense to me. So for Roman Catholics, all vaccines are allowed.


As I understand, Islam allows for vaccination; I believe proof of vaccination is required for the journey to Mecca.

 

Those are the religions I am familiar with re: vaccinations.


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Old 05-02-2014, 12:01 AM
 
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Yikes - almost 900 just to write a letter!?! I don't even have that much in my checking acct, holy crap huh.gif!

 

I dislike the notion that religion is separate from philosophy because I too find they go hand in hand.  I was raised Roman Catholic, but once I hit 18 I was done, I'm sorta non-affiliated at this point.  But I don't think that because I don't follow a particular religion it means I can't have strong beliefs.  It does bother me a bit that I have to file for a religious exemption when DD goes to school.  She won't get a medical exemption, and philosophical isn't an option here even though it would certainly fit us better.  And now with places like NY denying even medical, everyone will be watching to see just how much of a fight people put up over it.  If no one fights back, they will have sadly gained a leg up and will motivate other states to follow similar patterns with hopes that parents there also "shut up and take it".  Ugh.

 

Yep.  She was one of the 2 in NYC at the time who were well-reputed for my type of situation (basic, first-time denial). 

 

I think it's absolutely disgusting to challenge the pediatrician over his medical opinion.  If I were the parents I would be SO outta there.  But maybe that's the problem.  Unfortunately, the worst thing for policy (not for the child) would be for the family to be forced to accept the vaccines and nothing to happen to the child.  Grotesquely, if the state wins and the child dies, that's going to affect policy.  Even if the parents win, the next one might not be as lucky and it is just the beginning.   I just realised it was medical and clicked the link at the top just now and got nauseated because you stated medical in your post- I thought religious for some reason.

 

I did just read something that showed the number of exemptions for religious reasons goes up correlating to the number of vaccines on the schedule.  I really need to bookmark stuff...  sorry to anyone looking for a quick link.

 

 I watched a video on youtube of the sincerity test being given to a catholic couple (I don't know if this is the video applejuice referred to) and the examiner repeatedly asked them if god told them vaccination was a sin.  Also, my fav,  (paraphrased) "if god made man, who has the capacity to make these vaccines, aren't they a gift from god?"

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Old 05-02-2014, 06:33 PM
 
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Thanks so much to all of you.
Feel kind of like I just had the wind knocked out of me. Very confused and not sure what my next step should be.
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Old 05-02-2014, 08:00 PM
 
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Whoever the bureaucrat is who is denying that medical exemption--that person is simply crazy. What person in their right mind would 1) be okay with being responsible, in the pubic's eyes, and possibly the law's, for the child's death, and 2) assuming the child will most likely not be vaccinated, and will be denied a public education, what kind of person would be okay with dealing with the public's opinion on this? I think that most normal people would say it should be up to the parents and the doctor, once they read the doctor's letter. In fact, many would consider it to be child abuse to vaccinate that child against the doctor's advice.

I think the fact that these officials are assuming a position of "we know better than doctors" speaks a lot about  them - how highly they think of themselves and their political agenda with no regard for others.  NVers are ridiculed by the provax for making uninformed decisions against doctors recommendations about vaxxing but I'm sure not a one will argue that this goes too far because it benefits them (or so they think).

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Old 05-03-2014, 07:43 AM
 
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The kind of people that refuse to acknowledge a doctor's medical exemption clearly do not care about child safety. It's about politics and certainly not health. I wonder how they sleep at night? And once the medical exemption is denied and the child suffers a severe reaction or even death, it will be rules coincidence.
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Old 05-03-2014, 05:30 PM
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Per the new guidelines, namecalling is not allowed. Please edit to remove name calling from your post.

Additionally, please refrain from generalizations about religious groups. Statements that generalize and assign traits to religious groups are often prejudicial. This does not contribute to the atmosphere of support and discussion on the forum.

Please, everyone, reread and edit your posts.

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Wow!! I can't believe they denied a medical exemption!! 

 

I live on Long Island and had to worry about this for the first time this year. Luckily we've had a positive experience. Each incoming Pre-K student/parent has to meet with the school nurse. I was dreading it figuring she would try and lecture me. She actually gave me some pointers for my exemption letter! 

 

We got our exemption with out any issues. It's my understanding that since the administration granted and not the school principal we don't have to deal with it every year. Every district is different here though. I've only heard of a couple districts being difficult here. 

 

Good luck!! 

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Old 05-09-2014, 02:20 AM
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aggie pop, kudos for editing your post to remove an offensive comment. But posting again to apologize and restate what you edited is not cool. I've removed your post. Please review the guidelines about posting and PM a moderator or administrator if you have questions about what is acceptable and what is not. The vax forums are pretty volatile when it comes to perception of insult and accusation so the more diplomatic and non-adversarial you can be in the wording of your posts, the better. 


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Old 05-09-2014, 09:44 AM
 
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Cynthia, many of us are frustrated.  Where can we discuss proposed policy changes and propose new ones?  Or is it totally not up for discussion?

 

People who vax should not be able to read or post here and I don't think anyone who does not vaccinate or who doesn't work at the NYC Dept. of Health would have been offended by my comment (which was intended as humour).

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Old 05-12-2014, 08:21 AM
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If you are talking about vax forum policy changes, post that to Site Help.


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