Help, received certified letter from the school - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 11 Old 10-06-2008, 07:16 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi all,

I'm new here. Long story as short as I can, DS1 (7) had a scary but thankfully not lasting reaction to the 3rd DTaP that he received at 3? or maybe 4?. We stopped vaccinating at that point.

He went to school just fine, b/c they accepted titres (and grr, he wasn't even immune to pertussis, but b/c he had the right number of shots, that didn't matter).

DD is now in Kindergarten and I hemmed and hawed about what to do. The school nurse had made it sound pretty simple, that you just write a letter saying that you are opposed to vaccinating for religious reasons. So, that's what I did.

Now, I get this "Request for Religious Exemption to Immunization" Form where they want us to explain in our own words why we are requesting it, what our religious principles that guide our objection are, and of course whether we are opposed to all immunizations (which I've already told them we are and know is a trick question).

What do I do now? My husband is more than happy to write whatever is necessary (I have issues with this, but will do what I have to do). I truly believe that vaccinations pose a risk to my family and for that reason, I feel some comfort doing what it takes, but it creates much dissonance for sure.

If anyone could point me to some resources to help guide what we can write, I'd appreciate it. We are protestant, but not active in the Methodist Church we attend.

It just says that I need to return it promptly, and that she will be allowed to attend school while the matter is pending. I've had some run ins with the administration here, and also know from my Dad being a teacher in the district that the Superintendent is not at reasonable.

Help!!!!

Christie
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#2 of 11 Old 10-06-2008, 07:23 PM
 
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Originally Posted by craigiecarter View Post
Hi all,

I'm new here. Long story as short as I can, DS1 (7) had a scary but thankfully not lasting reaction to the 3rd DTaP that he received at 3? or maybe 4?. We stopped vaccinating at that point.

He went to school just fine, b/c they accepted titres (and grr, he wasn't even immune to pertussis, but b/c he had the right number of shots, that didn't matter).

DD is now in Kindergarten and I hemmed and hawed about what to do. The school nurse had made it sound pretty simple, that you just write a letter saying that you are opposed to vaccinating for religious reasons. So, that's what I did.

Now, I get this "Request for Religious Exemption to Immunization" Form where they want us to explain in our own words why we are requesting it, what our religious principles that guide our objection are, and of course whether we are opposed to all immunizations (which I've already told them we are and know is a trick question).

What do I do now? My husband is more than happy to write whatever is necessary (I have issues with this, but will do what I have to do). I truly believe that vaccinations pose a risk to my family and for that reason, I feel some comfort doing what it takes, but it creates much dissonance for sure.

If anyone could point me to some resources to help guide what we can write, I'd appreciate it. We are protestant, but not active in the Methodist Church we attend.

It just says that I need to return it promptly, and that she will be allowed to attend school while the matter is pending. I've had some run ins with the administration here, and also know from my Dad being a teacher in the district that the Superintendent is not at reasonable.

Help!!!!

Christie
I'm not familiar with NY state laws, but is it possible you can opt out due to the fact that your child had a severe reaction, get a letter from your ped? Most states allow that as well.

As far as questioning your personal religious views...I would have to say, you might have to make something up if you go that route. Though ethically I am opposed to lying, in this case where it's really none of their business, lie. In our state, we just sign a religious waver of immunization...and have it notarized. and that's it.

Good luck,
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#3 of 11 Old 10-06-2008, 07:34 PM
 
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mama, is it possible that you could obtain the exemption form more easily by going through a different channel?
i obtained my ds' religious exemption form from the department of health. i went to the board of health bldg downtown to the immunization dept. I had to wait to see the worker (but not long since there werent loads of folks doing that). I had to sign, and that is basically it. i was worried they would ask what religion or something but all i had to do was sign, they didnt ask questions.
i know all states are different, tho, and i am not in NY.
Good luck.

Mama to 3 boys 

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#4 of 11 Old 10-06-2008, 07:36 PM
 
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I know that it can be trickly to get your religious exemption in NY if you don't word your form just right. You might want to post in the NY tribal area to see if someone could help you with your phrasing. Good luck.
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#5 of 11 Old 10-06-2008, 07:42 PM
 
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I have just heard of this recently. Something about trying to "give parents just enough rope to hang themselves". I was at a lecture on vaccinations. It was reccomded to simply quote the law exemption again, short and sweet.

Michelle , 20+ years with a wonderful DH
Mama to two boys, 12 and 10

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#6 of 11 Old 10-06-2008, 09:22 PM
 
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Your best bet is to contact Gary Krasner, the director of the New York Coalition for Informed Choice. He was an invaluable help writing our exemption letter. Since you are pressed for time, he can email you a "crash course" guide to writing a personal religious exemption in NY (since the law requires us to explain our beliefs). It costs $40, but is worth every penny... and I say that as someone who does not have $40 to waste.
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#7 of 11 Old 10-06-2008, 09:30 PM
 
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PM'd you.

Kerry, loving wife to Pete, mama to DD (14) DS1 (9) DS2 (3) & Expecting someone new Jan 2013

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#8 of 11 Old 10-06-2008, 09:40 PM
 
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Quote:
He went to school just fine, b/c they accepted titres (and grr, he wasn't even immune to pertussis, but b/c he had the right number of shots, that didn't matter).
As long as he HAD the vax the other kids are safe

intactivist.gifwinner.jpg fambedsingle2.gif  learning.gif homeschool.gif buddamomimg1.png gd.gif delayedvax.gif selectivevax.gif  supermod.gif (Yeah right)

angel3.gif loss 2/28/03           photosmile2.gif  ds 1/5/08             asl.gif dd 2/8/10
 
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#9 of 11 Old 10-06-2008, 10:30 PM
 
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In "Don't vaccinate Before You Educate" they have example letters of just this sort with all of the Biblical references and what not. An attorney and Dr. wrote the book and they suggest with any exemption you should include some sort of letter like this. The website is www.homefirst.com. I know you are pressed for time. I know when i ordered the book they UPS'ed it to me and I got it in two days. Maybe they could fax you something?
Philia
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#10 of 11 Old 10-06-2008, 10:32 PM
 
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I would go with the $ 40.00 route that was listed . I might call them myself.
I just read the previous quotes.
Philia
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#11 of 11 Old 10-10-2008, 04:19 PM
 
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I am not sure what the NY laws are regarding vax (I live in NC) but what is the point of writing a letter to them about what you are going to write your exemption about? That is none of their business and if they want to know they can READ YOUR EXEMPTION LETTER.
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