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#1 of 24 Old 10-07-2005, 08:30 PM - Thread Starter
 
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im frantic here,, i feel so violated and alone,,, my son in now in kindergarten and just now adjusting,,hes had most of his shots,,which of course i was pushed into,, but now im standing up and saying no,, i was asked to submit a letter "explaining myself",, no form,, no information on who was deciding what "good cause" is,, so i submitted,,, short and sweet,,



To Whom it may concern,

Ohio State Law:
TITLE XXXIII [33] EDUCATION
CHAPTER 3313: BOARDS OF EDUCATION
[SCHOOL YEAR]
§ 3313.67 Immunization of pupils; records, reports.
3) A pupil who presents a written statement of the pupil's parent or guardian in which the parent or guardian objects to the immunization for good cause, including religious convictions, is not required to be immunized.

In regards to our son vaccinations.

Due to our lifestyle changes over the past years, our deep religious, personal, ethical and health beliefs and opinions and after consulting with our pediatrician, we strongly feel vaccinations do not agree with our beliefs and will not administer them at this time. Thank you for your time and concern.
,,, well it was denied,,, stating "philosophical objections do not meet the good cause,, and we had not demonstrated deep religious convictions",, i need help ,, what do i do now???? thanks for your time,,, ann
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#2 of 24 Old 10-07-2005, 09:03 PM
 
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hmmmm. I can't help any. But I hope someone can! If what you said isn't "good cause", I'd be interested to know what exactly is!
Oh, I'm in Ohio too. There was a lady that posted on here a few weeks ago maybe, and said that her Ohio exemption was easy. Maybe she'll pop on and see your question.

Ugh. I really hope this gets all worked out soon. Good luck.

Becky, partner to Teague, SAHM to Keagan (7yo), Jonah (2yo)
 

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#3 of 24 Old 10-07-2005, 09:35 PM
 
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#4 of 24 Old 10-07-2005, 09:38 PM
 
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I believe Ohio offers all three exemption types- philosophical, medicial, and religious.

They have no right to judge whether or not your convictions have been demonstrated to be deep enough. I would go over their heads and call the superintendent and raise some heck. Toss in some polite threats about your religious rights being violated. And get an actual exemption from the state. Especially if its a public system they can't violate state law and deny your exemption- then you can really go after them.
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#5 of 24 Old 10-07-2005, 09:41 PM
 
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#6 of 24 Old 10-07-2005, 09:47 PM
 
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They're wrong. Period. :

Here's a recent thread, maybe the info. the OP provided can help you...
http://mothering.com/discussions/sho...29#post3815829

Good luck....
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#7 of 24 Old 10-07-2005, 11:04 PM
 
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"Good cause" is somewhat similar to the NY statute, which includes "genuine and sincere" language and the school is apparently using this language as their loophole to deny exemptions. This sort of language can cause problems. I know you don't want to hear this - but it's not technically illegal.

The law requires the parent to object immunizations for good cause, right? Bamm! There's your loophole. The school (in it's obvious "crackdown") feels obligated by law to challenge your exemption based on their determination your objection is not for good cause. If they feel your objection is not for good cause, then your exemption must therefore be denied. Because of this language, they are essentially in a position to determine "good cause," since the school is the one who technically needs to comply with public health law.

Please post the exact wording of the denial letter. They may only be looking for a more detailed explanation in order to sufficiently determine your objection is in fact for good cause. I know it sounds crazy, but they can do this. As long as "good cause" is in there, all exemptions (including philo) in OH have the potential to be challenged like yours.

If you are not able to resolve the situation with the school with the submission of another letter, your next step would be filing an appeal with the Commissioner of Education. This is how it's done in NY and it is most likely the same in OH. For this, I would very strongly recommend hiring an attorney. There is specific procedure which needs to be followed, documents need to be generated and filed and then there is a hearing.

Don't be surprised if you start hearing more incidences like yours in OH.
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#8 of 24 Old 10-07-2005, 11:18 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mattemma04
I have not seen anything in the ORC that states the school can deny an exemption letter.
You won't find anything that states they must accept it either. You won't see that in any state statute. School districts across the country routinely challenge exemptions, including medical exemptions. Because someone with an M.D. after their name signed the medical exemption letter means absolutely nothing.

The problem with this situation is the phrase "good cause." The law says the parent must object for good cause and the school doesn't feel it is good cause. I don't think I've ever come across any other state with a philosophical exemption that has this sort of potentially damaging language.
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#9 of 24 Old 10-07-2005, 11:47 PM - Thread Starter
 
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thanks for all your help,,, im not so scared now,, definately energized,,, this is the reply/denial letter from director of student services : The Board of Education is required to enforce rules to secrure the immunization of students to prevent the spread of communicable diseases. Except is certain circumstances no student may be permitted to remain in school without written evidence that the proper immunizations have taken place, Section 3313.671 of the ohio revised code provides that "a pupil who presents a written statement from his parents or guardian objecting to immunization for good cause is not required to be immunized". This letter is to advise you that after careful review of the childhood immunization laws and discussions with the Ohio Department of Health, I cannot accept your letter of immunization objection for your child, as meeting the "good cuase" interest outlined in the law. I dont now believe philosophical objections qualify as "good cause" for not recieving immunizations. You have not demonstrated deep and well founded religious convictions as required under "good cause". I feel the risks involved in allowing your student to attend our school without proper immunization are not in the best interest of public health and not in alignment with state or school policy. As noted previously, immunization records musht be turned into our school by the extended date of Wendnesday Oct, 19. l... So thats it,,,,i did ask the school nurse for any info,, or forms and she said there werent any ,, just to write my explantion and they would either approve or not,,, i also looked at my schools website and found nothing on vax policy,,, so what to do now??i dont know what to put in another letter,, but i refuse to submit,,, thanks for your time and helpful words its all so greatly appriciated,, i dont know where else to go...ann
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#10 of 24 Old 10-07-2005, 11:54 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anniemae
I dont now believe philosophical objections qualify as "good cause" for not recieving immunizations.
I just wanted you to check this sentence. Is there are typo? Specifically "I don't now" - would you please double check it?
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#11 of 24 Old 10-08-2005, 12:17 AM - Thread Starter
 
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im sorry my toddler was on my lap,, so its,,," I do not believe philo..." thanks for your help.. ann
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#12 of 24 Old 10-08-2005, 01:52 AM
 
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That sentence is unclear - is he implying he doesn't believe in the philosophical objection or he doesn't believe in your specific philosophical objection.

To clarify - the nurse said (after you called about the denial) that you need to write an explanation? If that conversation took place after you told her about the refusal, then they are looking for "clarification" regarding your religious beliefs and you should submit a letter with an explanation of your religious beliefs in order to satisfy the exemption requirement of good cause.
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#13 of 24 Old 10-08-2005, 03:08 AM
 
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Not sure if you saw the post, but another poster made a good point about removing your personal information from the initial post. I just wanted to remind you that you should remove your son's name right away.

After you get this all figured out and make your next move, you may even want to delete the entire text of your letter and the district's response.
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#14 of 24 Old 10-08-2005, 09:50 AM
 
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Ya, i have had to hand write mine, and never had a problem. The idea though, is to say as little as possible.
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#15 of 24 Old 10-08-2005, 02:39 PM - Thread Starter
 
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thanks everyone,,, so i havent talked to anyone from the school regarding the denial letter,,, so how do i delete his name or the letter? they have it now,,the director of student services, the signer of the denial letter, gave his number if i have any questions,, im really hesitant to call just to see if they want further explanation or not,,, the nurse down right said she disagreed with me before even writting the letter,,, so i just dont know where to go from here,,,i live in an "nice" suburb, and its a "nice" or "good" school,, i feel im the only "different" one here, i know they are bullying me,, but what do i do now? if i dont put my info,,ie, name or sons name , on the letter how do they know its from me? or who to respond to? thanks again for your time,, ann,, oh i see delete his name from my post!! sorry,, im new to this whole thing,, i also cant find anywhere what falls under "good cause" which , in the denial letter, states is outlined in the law,, where?? in the denial letter it also states "i have not demonstrated deep religous convictions as required under "good cause"". ,, i shouldnt have to state any convictions,, just thats its religous,, so without saying any of that what do i say in another letter,, without saying a lot,, that hasnt already been denied?? thanks for helping me,,
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#16 of 24 Old 10-08-2005, 03:12 PM
 
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Go over the schools head to the superintendent. First, get an exemption from the state. Make a stink about them violating your religious rights- write him/her a letter with a copy of the state religious exemption and follow up with a call or even a meeting. They may feel they can discount your philosophical objections- but denying you a religious one is opening a can of worms they do not want to touch.
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#17 of 24 Old 10-08-2005, 03:17 PM - Thread Starter
 
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thanks for the reply,, how do i get an exemption from the state? ive asked for info from the school but was told there wasnt any,, no form either,, i dont know where to look online,,?? any suggestions ,, ann
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#18 of 24 Old 10-08-2005, 04:34 PM
 
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http://www.909shot.com/state-site/Ohio.htm

Lists Ohio laws and has forms.

http://vaccines-ohio.4t.com/Exemptio...nexemption.pdf

This is a general exemption form with the Ohio laws on it.

"Any minor child, through the child's parent or guardian, may submit to the institution authorities certificate signed by the child's parent or guardian whose religious, philosophical, or moral beliefs are opposed to such immunization. The minor child is then exempt."

It doesn't say anything about someone else deciding they don't think you have a good cause.

You might also want to call the State or County (or both!) Board of Health and perhaps the board of Education- you aren't the only one out there not vaxing!
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#19 of 24 Old 10-08-2005, 04:45 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pygmywombat
It doesn't say anything about someone else deciding they don't think you have a good cause.
It doesn't say anything in NY law about someone else deciding which beliefs are genuine and sincere also, but it is routinely decided by school districts and the courts.

Ohio law requires good cause - that gives schools looking to bust chops room to challenge. Until the language is removed from the statute or there is an OH court decision stemming from a parent lawsuit, it's legal to challenge the exemption based on perceived lack of good cause.

According to the language in the exemption statute, OH requires a written statement by the parent:

A pupil who presents a written statement of the pupil's parent or guardian in which the parent or guardian objects to the immunization for good cause, including religious convictions, is not required to be immunized

Take a look at some the obstacles (for lack of a better word) facing parents in states with philosohical exemptions. Texas only sends the exemption affidavit out to you via mail after you submit a written request by mail, fax or hand delivery. Florida let's you pick it up in person at the DOH, but then you are subjected to "counseling." Ohio's statute contains the "good cause" loophole. While they may not present problems for everyone seeking an exemption, they are obstacles nonetheless. There seems to be a - let's give them that exemption, but we're going to make it just a little bit inconvenient - thing going on in some states.
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#20 of 24 Old 10-10-2005, 12:30 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anniemae
im really hesitant to call just to see if they want further explanation or not

in the denial letter it also states "i have not demonstrated deep religous convictions as required under "good cause"". ,, i shouldnt have to state any convictions,, just thats its religous,, so without saying any of that what do i say in another letter,, without saying a lot,, that hasnt already been denied?? thanks for helping me,,
Any updates?? I know the deadline is approaching.

I would submit another letter, hand deliver it and take an extra copy so you can have someone stamp/mark it "received" and the date. They have to respond to it. If you don't include an explanation of your beliefs in order to show "good cause," it may be denied. Actually, given the circumstances, it probably would be denied. An explanation should be brief, but to the point.

The school should give you the opportunity to submit a more detailed explanation in order to satisfy the "good cause" requirement. I've seen case law wherein the judge ruled in favor of the parents b/c the school denied the parent's amended letter. Their initial exemption letter didn't sufficiently explain their beliefs, but the school didn't take the second letter into consideration. The judge ruled the second letter was sufficient and admonished the school district for not even considering the second amended letter.

If you need help, please PM or email.
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#21 of 24 Old 10-10-2005, 06:39 PM
 
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#22 of 24 Old 10-10-2005, 07:13 PM
 
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Quote:
Go over the schools head to the superintendent. First, get an exemption from the state. Make a stink about them violating your religious rights- write him/her a letter with a copy of the state religious exemption and follow up with a call or even a meeting. They may feel they can discount your philosophical objections- but denying you a religious one is opening a can of worms they do not want to touch.
I completely agree. One reason why...

Quote:
I dont now believe philosophical objections qualify as "good cause" for not recieving immunizations. You have not demonstrated deep and well founded religious convictions as required under "good cause".
The first sentence seems to merely be a matter of opinion of the person who sent you the letter. Secondly, nowhere in the statute, as the author says, does is state that you must "demonstrate deep and well founded religious convictions". It simply says that "religious convictions" qualify as "good cause".

At this point in time, I would stay away from giving a detailed explanation of your religious convictions, as it would still be at the mercy of this individual's interpretation and stamp of importance. I'd go above him and see what further steps are really necessary before you say anything further.
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#23 of 24 Old 10-11-2005, 11:13 AM
 
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i PM'd you. any news?
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#24 of 24 Old 10-11-2005, 12:13 PM
 
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I filed for an exemption for my son in NY. Initially, I simply stated the NY law and that it violated my religious beliefs. They rejected it. They told me I needed to explain how it violated my beliefs. I had to write another letter, this one more detailed, actually quoting parts of the bible to explain my objection. This one they accepted without further comment.

When I got to MI, the school just gave me a form to sign and check the exemption. That was it.
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