I hope someone here can help me with my issue. I live in Germany. My youngest boy is 5. So far he lived with me here in Germany but I have to send him to his American father out of health reasons. His father lives in Alexandria, VA.
He is willing to take him BUT he could not find any school (not sure how much he really was looking to find one) ... that would take my son as he is not vaccinated. His father tells me those private schools do not accept a "religious waver" .... and they wont take my son as he would be a thread to the other children. And I did not really understand his father why the public school wouldn't take my son ...
so, it would be of great help to know if there is anyone here with non-vaccinated children which go to school in VA or Washington D.C. Area (that's where he works), please help me to find out more, if there is really no possibility to send my son to school in VA or Washington
Public schools have to take him even un-vaccinated, as long as the father fills out the religious exemption form. They cannot question him as to what his religion or religious beliefs are, all he has to do is state a religious exemption.
I don't know about private schools that would accept it - I know they do not have to accept it, but some may.
He just needs to sign the religious exemption on the immunization form for public school. They may say they don't take it because they aren't aware of the option. I have done it many times in different schools, camps, etc with no problem.
The father may be sincerely ignorant of the options. Most Americans believe vaccines are required for public school admission. And, technically, they are. But there are exemptions/waivers available. Most Americans don't know this.
Usually the religious waiver is fine, but sometimes even the school administrator doesn't know about the legalities and can put up resistance. Some are aware of the legalities and put up resistance anyway just because they personally believe all children should be vaccinated and know they can cause problems for non-vaccinating parents.
Is the father on-board with not vaccinating? If not, then none of this matters - he will likely just insist that there are no options, and just send your son to be vaccinated. If he doesn't care one way or another, he may just feel it's more of a hassle to deal with the paperwork (even though it's not that hard) - or if he does that and gets any resistance, he may cave promptly. The system is set up so that you have to have some real motivation to keep your child unvaccinated.
I am not sure, but Virginia might also be one of the states that are really hard on the vaccination issue. So there may be more problems there. Someone else will probably know and reply to this thread.
But overall, you are correct, a religious waiver exists for public school in the US. Private schools indeed do not need to accept this waiver, but some (or possibly many) do. Depends.
Homeschooling mama to 6 year old DD.
I live in Alexandria and have a five year old son. He hasn't started public school yet, but I have a religious exemption for him due to daycare that he attends. The daycare accepted the waiver without any questions. Since my son isn't in elementary school yet, I can't say if I will have a problem or not, but I've never heard of it being one.
On a side note, my husband and I speak German with out son at home. Perhaps if your son is moving close to where I live, they might become friends?
well, I contacted my sons's dad again about public schools and the main reason why he can't go there is that there have no afternoon-care and he would need that. Plus " it is too late because the academic year has started so, so he would start out with the additional strike that he was behind in the work, but it would also be disrespectful of the teacher and school "
well and the private school his step-daughter goes to doesn't accept un-vaccinated children ...
and he wrote that all day-cares would only take vaccinated children ... last option would be a small in home daycare ... but he has quite high standards and nothing came up so far and so it doesn't look as there is any solution so far :-(((
I don't have any kids in school yet, and I live in MD, but I'm surprised to hear the public schools there don't have after-care, bc they do here. Also, lots of kids move in and start school mid-year, that is not considered disrespectful to the teacher and school as far as I know. That really surprises me that he said that. Even private schools, who can refuse, take kids mid-year sometimes. Public schools have to, as far as I know! I've also heard a lot of people say they had no prob with daycare - they just fileld out the vax form and put the religious exemption like you would for school.
I hate to say it, but to me it sounds like your child's father just isn't interested in trying to find a solution that would work for all. I hope I'm wrong about that! Perhaps there is a way for you to check into schools yourself, from Germany? Look on the internet to see what the public school assigned to his home is, see if they have aftercare, maybe even look into private schools, even double check on his stepdaughter's school's vax policy?
Agree that your husband is not interested in the issue, or maybe he wants an excuse to vax your child. He is misinformed and giving you the incorrect information.
Most day cares and private schools accept religious exemptions, but a few don't. I'm in MD, where you simply sign at the bottom of the vax form, and that's it. We've had no problems at camps or schools. In VA the procedure may be different, but in any case, you can look online for the requirements, sign the forms yourself and send them to the father. Your son needs his father's address to meet residency requirements, but his father does not need to sign the medical forms. I think the DC form is pretty simple, and you can find it online.
i live in MD and just saw on the news where parents were lined up (hundreds of them) outside the courthouse with the option to either vaccinate their kids on the spot or face jail time for truancy. not joking. religious exemptions aren't as easy to get as some are making them sound. the process is getting a lot harder to get them, and you can apply for one but be denied. so your ex may not just be being stubborn....the climate here in MD has recently become very hostile toward non-vaxing parents.
betsy: wife to tony, mama to haven (7/6/10), arlo (m/c 1/21/12), and expecting valencia in late december.
"we are the music makers and we are the dreamers of dreams" - arthur o'shaunessy
"if there is no dancing then it is not my revolution" - emma goldman
I know Prince Georges County tried threatening parents with jail time for not vaccinating their kids in 2007, but I have heard of nothing like that happening recently in MD. MD is not one of the most hostile states to parents who chose to vaccinate their children according to a different schedule, or not to vaccinate at all. And even in Prince Georges County, all parents had to do is sign a religious exemption, and they were not forced to vaccinate their children. But, of course, the county did not inform parents they had that choice, so those who didn't know about the religious exemption had to choose between vaccinating their children or going to court.
Yeah, I haven't heard of that happening recently.
I'm pretty sure that children involved in the PG County situation had neither vax records nor religious exemptions on file with the schools- they did not round up hundreds of families with exemptions on file and force them to "prove" their religious beliefs.
Mom to (11/08) and (4/11)