New York laws on exemptions - Mothering Forums

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Old 08-29-2007, 04:37 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi everyone. It has been a long time since I have been on this site. My life has been hectic!! Anyway, I have come for everyones excellent knowelege. I just moved the New York, an itty bitty town near Glens Falls. So I have started the process of getting my two sons inrolled in school, of course, I am waiting for the vax exemption form. I went down today and got them, and they told me that the only exemption is religious......I am not bothered by doing a religious exemption, I think it will be more solid than a philisophical, but........So this religious form is INSANE!!! It has like a half o page for me to write down, "Why I am requesting, and what are my religious principles, PLUS it has to be Notarized, AND APPROVED!!!!! WHAT!!!! :
I am so annoyed right now!! I did not think they could do this? I came from Vermont, which is SUPER laid back about the whole thing, I know, but this is rediculous!! I had no idea it would be this hard!

Now, please correct me if I am wrong, but, can the school really do this, I need info on the laws. I "thought" that in January there was another law passed that gave parents the right to philisophical exemptions now, too. If this is the case, than HOW can the religious be so strict? I need some help here, and I need to know what to do with these boneheads........

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Old 08-29-2007, 06:18 PM
 
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I'm in NY too, but haven't had to file a religious exemption yet, since my lil guy is just 18 months.

I'm hoping someone will reply to you with what they did. There used to be a regular (and extremely knowledgeable!) NY poster...LONGISLAND. I haven't seen her post recently though. Maybe she is still around though, and can get you some good info (or look up her old posts).
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Old 08-29-2007, 06:34 PM
 
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The requirements are probably not legal, but they currently stand.

-Angela
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Old 08-29-2007, 07:36 PM
 
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NY has genuine and sincere language in the law reguarding religious exemptions. Language such as this (the US Supreme Court ruled) allows the state to question your sincerity. I would post on the NY board and ask if anyone there has a LongIsland provided exemption or an otherwise used and approved NY religious exemption.

Above all, don't get wordy or philosophical; just remember that vaccination is against your genuine and sincere religious beliefs.

Oh, and check my first link for religious exemption info.

"It should be a rule in all prophylactic work that no harm should ever be unnecessarily inflicted on a healthy person (Sir Graham Wilson, The Hazards of Immunization, 1967)."
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Old 08-29-2007, 11:00 PM
 
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Originally Posted by babytoes View Post
I am waiting for the vax exemption form. I went down today and got them, and they told me that the only exemption is religious......
WHAT form? There is no form in NY, except in NYC. You need to write a letter for an exemption. DO NOT give the school any form!

Quote:
It has like a half o page for me to write down, "Why I am requesting, and what are my religious principles, PLUS it has to be Notarized, AND APPROVED!!!!! WHAT!!!! :
No, no no. That is NOT right.

I'm near you, and will PM you.

Quote:
I "thought" that in January there was another law passed that gave parents the right to philisophical exemptions now, too.
Nope. And I would never use a philo exemption anyway - it's the least likely to stand up in court IMO. You are guaranteed religious freedom by the Constitution.

Every baptized Christian is, or should be, someone with an actual (disturbing) experience, ... a close encounter, with God; someone who, as a result, becomes a disturbing presence to others. - Fr. Anthony J. Gittins, A Presence That Disturbs
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Old 08-29-2007, 11:46 PM
 
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I recently enrolled my dd's in school and used this letter. The school attached the letter to the form instead of having me fill out the space on the form that I think you're referring to. I had the form notarized, and the school nurse had the administrator sign it for me. There was no problem at all. I hope it's as easy for you as it was for me. Good luck.
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Old 08-29-2007, 11:49 PM
 
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9. This section shall not apply to children whose parent, parents, or guardian hold genuine and sincere religious beliefs which are contrary to the practices herein required, and no certificate shall be required as a prerequisite to such children being admitted or received into school or attending school.

10. The commissioner may adopt and amend rules and regulations to effectuate the provisions and purposes of this section.

11. (Added, L 1994) Every school shall annually provide the commissioner, on forms provided by the commissioner, a summary regarding compliance with the provisions of this section.
Not the individual school, I thought.

"It should be a rule in all prophylactic work that no harm should ever be unnecessarily inflicted on a healthy person (Sir Graham Wilson, The Hazards of Immunization, 1967)."
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Old 08-30-2007, 03:04 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Ah ha!! I found the law I was looking for, but I dont understand it, is it inacted or is it just on the senate table? May be one of you can tell me...

http://assembly.state.ny.us/leg/?bn=A05468

thanks again!!!

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Old 08-30-2007, 10:06 AM
 
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Originally Posted by spero View Post
WHAT form? There is no form in NY, except in NYC. You need to write a letter for an exemption. DO NOT give the school any form!



No, no no. That is NOT right.

I'm near you, and will PM you.



Nope. And I would never use a philo exemption anyway - it's the least likely to stand up in court IMO. You are guaranteed religious freedom by the Constitution.
Trust me there is a form and they can make you use it in upstate NY, and they can be nasty about it. I got it approved but it wasn't a walk in the park. LongIsland did approve my exemption before I handed it in but I can't risk sharing it and having it get out on the web. I have to protect my son first as this exemption was hard to come by. The form isn't mandatory but the health department is encouraging all schools to use it so they have perfect rights to request you use it. Sad but true. It does have to be notorized and approved byt the superintendent or principal and they can question your sincerity.

Doula, Wife and mom to A (11/23/01) and O (5/7/09)
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Old 08-30-2007, 12:20 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Trust me there is a form and they can make you use it in upstate NY, and they can be nasty about it. I got it approved but it wasn't a walk in the park. LongIsland did approve my exemption before I handed it in but I can't risk sharing it and having it get out on the web. I have to protect my son first as this exemption was hard to come by. The form isn't mandatory but the health department is encouraging all schools to use it so they have perfect rights to request you use it. Sad but true. It does have to be notorized and approved byt the superintendent or principal and they can question your sincerity.
OK. So now what? According to the bill I found they cannot harass you about your beliefs. I would think that it may be a good idea to put into the letter what the bill actually states about harassing the parents about their beliefs. I know that this bill may not be inacted yet, but it is still a good pull for parents, it clearly says....
Quote:
JUSTIFICATION: Legislative Background: Currently, parents of children
in school must show proof of vaccination of legislatively mandated
vaccines, unless they have an approved religious or medical waiver. To
obtain religious waivers, applicants are required to demonstrate their
religiousness to a level acceptable to the school. Claimants are asked
to submit to myriad and lengthy verbal affidavits or written question-
naires that delve broadly into their personal affairs to an extent unan-
ticipated by the legislature at the time the section was amended in
1989
.

Recognizing that this practice impinges on First Amendment protections,
regulators have been careful not to specify a mechanism for schools to
execute this function. Claimants feel they are denied the exemption
unfairly, based upon determinations having no apparent uniform criteria.
This has generated grievances that the process does not operate in an
equitable manner
. The intrusive nature of the inquiry, has led to wide-
spread appeals to the Commissioner, and litigation in the state and
federal circuits.
So, even though it may not be a law yet, I think the wording in this is pretty powerful, I would not have a problem using it. I think that sometimes the officials need a kick in the ass from what they can and can't do. So anyway, I am hoping for LongIsland to show and give me some help. I just wish I knew exactly what to do, and who to talk to.

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Old 08-30-2007, 12:36 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Oh, hey, and looky here, I found another bill that is in legislator, and it is even better for what I need.....printing......

http://assembly.state.ny.us/leg/?bn=A03064

Quote:
JUSTIFICATION:

Protection of free exercise of religion demands wariness in granting
state entities the power to cast judgment upon a person`s religious
beliefs. This bill precludes the interpretation of the current language
reading "genuine and sincere" as creating a test that a religious
exemption claimant must pass
to the satisfaction of health or school
authorities. It makes the exemption dependent only on the filing of an
affidavit stating that the requisite religious beliefs are held.

The current common practice of government agencies scrutinizing and
judging a parent`s religious beliefs is inappropriate in a democracy
that values the First Amendment.
There could be concern that some
parents might falsely claim a religious exemption. But it is greatly
outweighed by the burden that the intrusive, prolonged inquiry imposes
on bona fide objectors forced to defend their religious beliefs. Includ-
ing that the request for exemption be notarized impresses upon the
public the seriousness of the sincerity requirement and will be a suffi-
cient deterrent to potential false objectors.
I love this one!! This is perfect, and I will be including a print off of it with my letter for exemption.

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Old 08-30-2007, 02:42 PM
 
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Originally Posted by babytoes View Post
Ah ha!! I found the law I was looking for, but I dont understand it, is it inacted or is it just on the senate table? May be one of you can tell me...

http://assembly.state.ny.us/leg/?bn=A05468

thanks again!!!
At this point A03064 and A05468 haven't been adopted as law. I just called my local Assemblyman (Marc Alessi) to find out the status. He said that the bill was introduced in February but "didn't go anywhere" this year (it was never voted on) so the bill has been turned over to the state Health Committee and will be reintroduced in January.

Funny how they were so quick to ammend PHL 2164 to add the new TDap booster, but not this:
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Old 08-30-2007, 06:01 PM
 
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Unfortunately babytoes if the law hasn't passed it really doesn't stand. I'm not trying to be nasty, I'm totally on your side here as I've been through the ringer with this, but I wouldn't bring in copies of bills that haven't passed that might just make them leery of you. Just fill out the form, talk about how the practice of immunization is against your sincerely held religious beliefs, have it notorized and keep your fingers crossed that they don't ask for proof. They unfortunatly do have the right to ask for proof. If you have a of copy of the form handy it says that in it. They can't "harass" you so to speak but in my opinion asking for follow up documentation is a slippery slope. I HATE this aspect of living in NYS. I SOOOO wish I lived over the border in VT.

Doula, Wife and mom to A (11/23/01) and O (5/7/09)
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Old 08-30-2007, 06:23 PM
 
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Don't bring up the "law" because it isn't law yet. You'll only be aggravating the people who have the power to reject your exemption.

"It should be a rule in all prophylactic work that no harm should ever be unnecessarily inflicted on a healthy person (Sir Graham Wilson, The Hazards of Immunization, 1967)."
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Old 08-31-2007, 12:39 AM
 
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I am in the same situation (Moved here from MI where we had a very easy philosophical exemption) and am now in panic mode! I have collected alot of great info from some very helpful people here on these boards and even some different exemption letters. All of them are so different it makes me even more confused! And of course because of this I have waited til the last minute! I need to turn in my daughter's physical and the religous exemption! UGH! If you get any good info please share.

Also to all of you out there with NY Exemptions is there anyone who could read mine and give me opinions? I really don't want to screw this up becuae my daughter will be devistated if she can't go to school. I know LongIsland used to help everyone but from what I can tell she is no longer around! I am working on it right now and need to turn it in next Wed when my daughter is to start school. I know I am pushing it to the last minute but when we registered her They said all the health stuff should be turned in together and I could not get her into the Dr here that was recommended until tomorrow!

If anyone can help please please please pm me!

Thanks,
Barbara
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Old 08-31-2007, 01:07 AM
 
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bt - this post has the links I promised you. HTH!

Every baptized Christian is, or should be, someone with an actual (disturbing) experience, ... a close encounter, with God; someone who, as a result, becomes a disturbing presence to others. - Fr. Anthony J. Gittins, A Presence That Disturbs
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Old 08-31-2007, 01:11 AM
 
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Originally Posted by spero View Post
bt - this post has the links I promised you. HTH!


:

"It should be a rule in all prophylactic work that no harm should ever be unnecessarily inflicted on a healthy person (Sir Graham Wilson, The Hazards of Immunization, 1967)."
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Old 08-31-2007, 02:16 AM
 
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Ugh. Homeschooling is looking more and more appealing.
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Old 08-31-2007, 07:36 AM
 
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I'll be moving to NY next summer and my children wills tart school next year - where do you gett he "form"? I was just going to submit a notorized letter to the school? Wrong? Thanks so much in advance. Not NYC, Highland Falls/Fort Montgomery schools.
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Old 08-31-2007, 12:23 PM - Thread Starter
 
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You get the form from the school your kids will be going to. I think you have to get the form for that particular school district.

I have to tell you, this really bunches my knickers!!!

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Old 08-31-2007, 12:40 PM
 
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My suggestion to babara m - in a previous thread - was to submit letter FIRST, and see if the school will accept that. (Your own words - brief and to the point, following the language of the section law - are always best, IMO.) If the school is really insistent on a notarized form, they can request it from you after you've submitted a letter.

Every baptized Christian is, or should be, someone with an actual (disturbing) experience, ... a close encounter, with God; someone who, as a result, becomes a disturbing presence to others. - Fr. Anthony J. Gittins, A Presence That Disturbs
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Old 09-02-2007, 11:27 AM
 
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is this the form you are talking about?
http://www.emsc.nysed.gov/sss/Health...munization.htm

these are put out by the new york state doe and are guidelines all the districts should be using. It is not a terrible form and allows you to attach your own explanation. I would suggest getting it notarized - its not hard to do and makes it more 'official' in their eyes.
Here is the link to the guidelines for the schools.

http://www.emsc.nysed.gov/sss/Health...procedures.htm

I would put all this together and bring it to the school. If they don't accept it, they have to put in writing why they are refusing the exemption. Then you can always appeal to directly to the Health Commisioner. The whole process is outlined on these links.

I have a religious exemption in and pending. I haven't heard anything yet - but your children can attend school during the process. pm if you want..!!
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Old 09-02-2007, 01:23 PM
 
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Use the form provided that is NEW this year...


http://emsc32.nysed.gov/sss/

School District Procedures for Implementing Requests for Religious Exemption to Immunization.
- request form (.doc) (.pdf) (.html)
- procedures (.doc) (.pdf) (.html)

Just copy it off, fill it out and it HAS TO BE NOTORIZED.

If anyone goes off and does their own thing, your setting yourself up to be denied.

I didn't have a problem with mine because I followed it to a T and knew how to play the game. I see some good advice here and some not so good...
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Old 09-02-2007, 04:19 PM
 
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Originally Posted by julieann199930 View Post
Use the form provided that is NEW this year...


http://emsc32.nysed.gov/sss/

School District Procedures for Implementing Requests for Religious Exemption to Immunization.
- request form (.doc) (.pdf) (.html)
- procedures (.doc) (.pdf) (.html)

Just copy it off, fill it out and it HAS TO BE NOTORIZED.

If anyone goes off and does their own thing, your setting yourself up to be denied.

I didn't have a problem with mine because I followed it to a T and knew how to play the game. I see some good advice here and some not so good...

YES!! Use this form and have it notorized. This must be an updated version of the one I submitted. Mine looked very similar, but was a little nastier actually. Keep it simple. Hopefully they won't ask for anything else.

Doula, Wife and mom to A (11/23/01) and O (5/7/09)
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Old 09-02-2007, 07:52 PM
 
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I see some good advice here and some not so good...
I certainly don't want to give bad advice.
Per LI's recommendation, when I submitted my exemption two years ago I wrote a letter. I was told by the school to submit a letter to the superintendent, via the school board. LI emphasized that "in your own words" was best.

I'm trying to get in touch w/LI to confirm the current best route to exemption in NYS. She knows everything there is to know about this stuff.

My apologies if I've led anyone astray.

Every baptized Christian is, or should be, someone with an actual (disturbing) experience, ... a close encounter, with God; someone who, as a result, becomes a disturbing presence to others. - Fr. Anthony J. Gittins, A Presence That Disturbs
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Old 09-03-2007, 01:32 AM
 
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I certainly don't want to give bad advice.
Per LI's recommendation, when I submitted my exemption two years ago I wrote a letter. I was told by the school to submit a letter to the superintendent, via the school board. LI emphasized that "in your own words" was best.

I'm trying to get in touch w/LI to confirm the current best route to exemption in NYS. She knows everything there is to know about this stuff.

My apologies if I've led anyone astray.
Since two years ago the Dept. of Ed has send this nasty little form out to ALL schools in NYS encouraging them to use it, so far it isn't mandatory, but now most schools are requiring it be filled out. My son is at a small private, catholic school and even they had received the form.

Doula, Wife and mom to A (11/23/01) and O (5/7/09)
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Old 09-03-2007, 11:58 AM
 
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You used to write your own on our own paper, no notorized, etc.

Then this new form came out to be used this year along with notorizing. It's not really any different-you just write your exemption on it as you would if you were using your own paper.

If you get a denial, a questionaire..etc..pm me before apealing to the commissioner...I can get you in touch with someone who can help you thru the process if you need it. 'They' also keep track of what is happening in NY state schools in regards to exemptions in nonvax families favor.

Important things to include/not to include:

How you practice your beliefs..prayer, meditation, bible
Don't include scriptures
If your religious beliefs have changed, state it, if the school knows you once vaccinated. Religious beliefs can change/evolve with time..there's nothing wrong with that.
Protect yourself and your child by stating-."...as long as there is no threat to life or a medical emergency..." That protects you from them thinking 'medical neglect'.
Keep every paragraph on a religious tone..nothing medical/philosophical.
Have someone who has an approved exemption from NY, look at what you write before submitting it. Doesn't mean it won't get denied, but since they've been thru it, they have a better idea of what will pass and won't won't. Wording is very important!
Learn these words " We are religiously opposed to the practice of vaccination" if anyone at the school verbally questions you, that is all you say. Besides, its now in your exemption 'letter' which should explain it enough to them.

HTH!
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Old 09-08-2007, 12:21 AM
 
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Another thing to remember. The answer to bullet point 3 is: We are religously opposed to the practice of vaccination in entirety. YOU MAY NOT PICK AND CHOOSE IN NY. If you say you are only opposed to those with fetal cells or whatever, you will be denied.
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Old 11-11-2007, 01:12 AM
 
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bump!

Elizabeth

http://www.xojane.com/author/elizabeth

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Old 11-11-2007, 03:52 AM
 
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Not sure if I posted this before but "read the Wexler decision."

The Wexler Decision

"It should be a rule in all prophylactic work that no harm should ever be unnecessarily inflicted on a healthy person (Sir Graham Wilson, The Hazards of Immunization, 1967)."
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