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<b>UPDATE 6/19</b><br><br>
Today I went for the appt - which was another ordeal. I took US1 instead of 95 to get there today and got lost, I called the number on my appt slip which was the direct number for Clinic A to let them know I was going to a be a few minutes late and to get better directions. I was lucky enough to get Wanda on the phone, when I stated that I had a 9am appt (it was now 9:01), that I was lost and needed directions - I was told "hold on" and placed on hold. a little over 10 minutes later I was disconnected without ever speaking to anyone. I called back 4 times, only to be placed directly onto hold (no real person ever got on the phone). Eventually I did find the place on my own. I was on hold just before entering the building, I hung up, walked the 30 secs into the building and into clinic A to find Wanda sitting behind the front desk involved in a conversation with a coworker. When she looked up and asked if I needed something, I said yes, I waited on hold for over 15 minutes for directions cuz I was lost and now late for my 9am appt as a result. She did not even acknowledge me, just pointed at the door and said to go check in.<br>
I did check in (only to be told by the clerk that he had never seen an appt for a religious exemption before!) and wait in the waiting area for atleast another 15-20 minutes. I was finally called to the appt (via a HIPPA violation - full name and location to report to over the intercom) and met with nurse Heather. She began by informing me that if I requested a religious exemption, the following things would happpen to my child.<br><br>
1. if an outbreak occurred, he would not only be removed from school (which I knew) but also quarentined to our home for the length of the outbreak (which she states is generally 6 months) - specifically stated that he would not be allowed to leave our home for any reason, no trips to the park, grocery store, family, etc. Is this in fact true? Even the exemption form doesn't mention this - only states that he could be removed from school.<br><br>
2. "he will never go to college" When I pressed further, I was told that "no college accepts a religious exemption" and that he would be required to have all of them anyway if I wanted him to have any kind of an education. When I asked if this was just a Florida college thing, as I never encountered any difficulty with college myself, she responded that ALL state colleges and universities nation wide are like this, and maybe some small private colleges would accept him but that it was unlikely. I went to a state funded county college without any issues whatsoever - that was even in a healthcare field degree program! How valid is this threat?<br><br>
3. that the exemption I have is only good until he goes to school, she actually wrote "HOME" on the top margin of my form!! She stated that any time we move or he goes to a new preschool/elementary school, etc we need to come back and get a new form. I told her that I was only aware of the statue stating that we had to get the one form, and that my understanding was that one form was good - period. That since it was STATE issued in accordance to STATE statutes, the purpose of the form or we where lived did not matter. She insisted again that it was required for "tracking purposes in the event of an outbreak and the need to quarentine your son - we need to know exactly where to find him."<br><br>
4. When I refused the video, I first requested written materials - to be told that nothing like that was available. Surprising considering it is the county health department. And more suprising since hanging in a shelving unit on the wall behind her was a bunch of folders label "chicken pox (english)" "chicken pox (spanish)" etc for all the required vax, in addition to folders labelled fevers, diarrhea and dehydration, etc. I was told that the only information available was in this video - that it was a video about parents talking about what happened as a result of their kids not getting vaxed. Propaganda and scare tactics - no thank you. I politely declined, stated that I have researched myself and made an informed decision in addition to this being a religious decision. Then I was told that it was better for me to just watch the video now, cuz when I had to come back for the next form so my son could enter kindergarten, I would be required to watch if or they would not issue the form. I challenged her on the need for another form and refused the video.<br><br>
In addition to speaking with Vivienne up in Tallahassee again (which didn't seem to make much of a difference after all) - where can I file a written complaint against this department and its staff. The veil of concern and politely phrased scare tactics and intimidation is just ridiculous. I don't know if some of the treatment (such as waiting on hold over 15 minutes when they knew I was lost) was retaliation for called Vivienne, but that is what it seemed like. Even if that isn't the case, Wanda is HORRIBLE at her job. It seemed like they were trying to cover their butts a bit too as a result of the phone call - ever so sweetly (with a strong hit of sarcasism) starting off the appt with saying "Now I am not trying to change your mind about anything or provide any sort of counseling, but I have to make you aware of a few things." They knew ahead of time that I stated I intended to refuse the video, yet it was still an issue and still something toted as being "required."<br><br>
If they thought that simply cuz I had my 681 form I would tolerate this treatment and just be thankful to have the ordeal over with they are sadly mistaken. Today just fueled my anger further and has me even more committed to seeing things change at that health department.<br><br>
also where can I file a complaint re: the HIPPA violation???<br><br>
they messed with the wrong girl this time around.....<br><br><br>
original post:<br><br>
I need help dealing with the FLA health dept and the little power trip they are on regarding issuing me a religious exemption form for DS.<br><br>
I used the links to get all the necessary info regarding getting a religious exemption in Florida - we just moved here last week. According to the KNOW website, all I needed to do was get a form 681 signed by the county branch of the dept of health.<br>
I called the office TWICE to find out if I needed to see anyone specific, schedule an appt, etc to obtain this form. "No, just report to clinic A and they will issue it to you"<br>
So I took yesterday to drive the more than 30 min drive to the office, only to be told by the nasty woman Wanda in Clinic A that I am "required" to have a "relgious exemption appt" with a specific nurse that is only at 9am and 2pm and involves watching a video, an exam of my son, filing paperwork, and counseling.<br>
I argued with her that the statue does not say anything about this nor did anyone I spoke to over the phone - only to be told that she doesn't know "nothing about none of that" - her standard reply to every question such as how long the appt is, the content or length of the video, why my son needs an exam, etc. Needless to say I made an appt and need to show up next Tuesday at 9am with DS in tow. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/irked.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="irked">:<br>
I called back and spoke with the woman in charge of the Immunization Clinic to be informed that only one person is qualified to sign the exemptions, hence the appt. And when I really pressed her and asked why I was being forced to watch a video for a religous exemption - that it was disrepectful and harassing me would not change my religious views - she admitted that it was "recommended" not required. And that it "is policy" that I meet with the nurse, my son be examined by the nurse, and we both recieve counseling before an exemption will be issued. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/irked.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="irked">:<br><br>
Aside from writing a scathing complaint about harassment and religious persecution (who do I even send it to???) - what can I do? I am livid. They are making me jump thru hoops - when all they need BY LAW is a signed statement from me - which I tried to provide them with yesterday but Wanda refused to take. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/irked.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="irked">: I hate letting them win in this intimindation game and power struggle - which I feel like I am doing by meekly obeying and complying with their stupid policies.<br><br><br>
Can someone help me out here? What sort of legal leg to stand on do I have? Should I contact a director of the health dept directly? What should I do next???
 

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Wow. I have numerous friends with religious exemptions in Florida and they were not put through that at all. Can you try calling a different county instead? Perhaps you can just take care of it there. I say show up at the appointment, REFUSE the exam and insist on having them sign the paperwork. Show up with a copy of the statute in hand.<br><br>
But that is just my gut feeling. Hopefully someone with better Florida knowledge will help you out here. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> You might want to try the Florida area of "Find your Tribe" as well. Good luck!
 

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What county are you in? We have not gotten out exemption form signed, but I know many people who have and they had no problems. In fact, they didn't even bring their children with them.<br><br>
I am so sorry that they are harassing you like that. As far as I know, you are not required to do any of that to get the exemption. I know they are not even supposed to ask any questions about your religious affiliation at all.<br><br>
I hope someone has more answers for you!
 

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It is Indian River county - the vero beach branch.<br><br>
As far as I understand it, I *have* to go the county branch. My ped and her office staff all said they never ran into anything like this, but that is Pt Lucie or St Lucie county.<br><br>
The kicker is that in Jan when we buy a house - it will be in another county and I will have to go thru all of this all over again!<br><br>
I sent an email to the FLA rep on the KNOW website - hopefully she will have some insight.<br><br>
I am so tempted to show up, all by myself, for the appt and refused the video, counseling, etc and hand them my letter and a copy of the statute.<br>
But at the same time I am kinda scared that I will get put on some sort of "bad parent watch list" or something.....that we could go to the ER for a bumped chin and end up fighting child and youth services.....I know it sound extreme - but at this point I wouldn't put anything past these people, espcially when there have been cases like that.....
 

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Great freedom of choice!!! Hey!<br><br>
Due to some similar experiences, which I will not get into here as I do not want to get into trouble, I can totally understand you and sympathize with you! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/hug2.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Hug2">
 

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Okay, my ped just emailed me back (gotta say I LOVE her!) and said that she can give me the "blue form" - she isn't sure what it is titled or numbered, but that it seems to work for her other pts for schools, private schools, activities, etc - also said that since I take Ds for all his well baby checks, etc that I would not run into any problems - but my motto is better safe than sorry!<br><br><br>
anyone have the 681 form - is it blue??<br><br>
oh please oh please say it is blue!
 

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According to vaclib.org the exemption form is blue.<br><br><a href="http://www.vaclib.org/exempt/florida.htm" target="_blank">http://www.vaclib.org/exempt/florida.htm</a>
 

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I'd ask to see all of these "policies" in writing before I'd agree to any of them <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/irked.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="irked">:
 

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hey, i just pm'd you and then read the replies...<br><br>
the 681 is blue. your doctor CANNOT provide it for you, only a HD rep.<br><br>
HOWEVER...<br><br>
the 680 (vax record) is also blue. that form WOULD come from your doctor, and on the back is a tiny space for the dr to make out a medical exemption. i believe it can be either good for one yr, or have no expiration date, depending on how your dr chooses to fill it out.<br><br>
if you have a dr willing to give a 680 exemption, i would totally drive the 45 mis to your town! pm me bacvk w/the name, please. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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do you have to go to your county office? it's not like that here in Martin AFAIK<br><br>
the dr can't give you the form? (ps - do you use Denise?) - When I lived in Broward I just got the vax form from my ped.....
 

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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug"><br><br>
Although I do not have exemptions for my kids yet, From what I understand, this is TOTAL HARASSMENT. We are in Lee County (west coast) and the people I know who have gotten the exemptions have just gone to the HD, signed a form and go on their merry way. And this is a statewide statute; it DOES NOT VARY BY COUNTY. I would not subject your dc to a physical at the hd at all, nor would I watch a video. YUCK. I am so sorry you are going through this. I think I would call and ask for the head of the hd and complain. NOBODY wants to mess with religious discrimination. I hope 909 helps you out ~ please keep updating, I am really curious to know what happens <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br>
Take care, mama <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>naturegirl7</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/8374604"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I need help dealing with the FLA health dept and the little power trip they are on regarding issuing me a religious exemption form for DS.<br></div>
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I pm'd you with the ph # to the fl state dept of imm, I had my issue straightened out within the hour!!! If your public health dept is uninformed when it comes to what is required to claim a religious exemption, this state dept will clear it up in no time.<br><br>
Also be sure to ask what info you must provide, (birth cerificate, ssn etc) because last I checked, the ssn was OPTIONAL, not required, but they said they needed for id verf, so a bc should be sufficient.<br><br>
Good luck.
 

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<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">the ssn was OPTIONAL, not required</td>
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Yes, ssn IS optional, fro my understanding, as well.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>CallMeMommy</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/8375866"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I'd ask to see all of these "policies" in writing before I'd agree to any of them <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/irked.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="irked">:</div>
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I second that!!!!<br>
Ask for it in written form and I would not take dc with me next time! I would not let this harrassment effect my child, unless they show it to me in black and white!
 

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Im sorry to hear you had such a hard time. I am in Lake co and no one said a word to me when I went in to get my exemption, they were so nice and cooperative, even though I was expecting the opposite. No appt, no ?'s, no hassle, no ss#, just a signature on the form they provided me.<br>
Im glad someone gave you a contact phone # to file a complaint. I would love to hear an update from you.
 

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michelle, if you decide to use a birth cert for id (which is NOT required!) do not allow the nurse to make and keep a copy of it. that way you cant end up on the registry.
 

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You do not need to get a different one for every county. It is a state form. It does have a stamp for your county office, but I don't think you should need a new one when you move.<br><br>
Also, for me, there was a long, long wait, but no video and no counseling.<br><br>
HTH!
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Well I just got off the phone with Bureau of Immunization up in Tallahassee. Toni from KNOW Vax Awareness - the FLA rep got back to me with tons of great info and the name and number of who to call in Tallahassee. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br>
I spoke with Vivienne Treharne 850-245-4444 X 2384<br><br>
She was polite and fairly helpful - still managed to sneak in there that not vaxing "could have incredibly negative outcomes that parents may not be aware of such as contracting the disease" (chicken pox was her example!) and illuding to death - but I had to appreciate HOW she worked it into the conversation (to explain WHY handing out literature/watching the video is required). <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"> VERY smooth.<br><br>
Honestly she was very polite, very apologetic, very baffled at why they were requesting/insisting that DS be present, have insurance cards, etc. She did get a bit defensive about the whole word "counseling" cuz that is a big NoNo - major noncompliance issue - she of course stated that the person must be using that word to mean offering educational material - not "counseling" - that it was a individuals poor word choice, that no true counseling is offered, just educational material - ie the stupid video. And supposedly the video if because "not all individuals have the same reading capacity" - basically Vero Beach thinks that people are too stupid to read, and therefore makes everyone watch the video instead just making it known that it is available - or just that they can't be sure you are reading the handouts and want to make sure you get every last dose of scare tactics. plus they probably enjoy the hassle it is to parents to sit and watch that video with young children to occupy. It makes me think of the animals at the circus<br>
They are the animal trainers, with all the power. They like to prod the elephant so that she stands up on her back legs and dances for the crowd, all the while a heavy chain wrapped around an ankle and dragging behind her.....<br><br>
Anyways - She did state that the SS card was to get him into the FLA SHOTS registry - which of course she made sound like the greatest thing in the world - oh, he'll be in the database as being exempt so all the schools and peds will know that. Uh isn;t that what the 681 form is for? <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"> We are definitely excluding ourselves from that one! No way I want him tracked as an exempt kid - that means if they decide that exempt kids are no longer exempt and suddenly need to get vaxed (which they could do if they declare a special health crisis) then they can just print out the list and bang down our doors sooner - no thanks! I atleast want time to get him out of the state before they show up on my door! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"><br><br>
anyways I digress yet again! - she is contacting the county dept head and nursing supervisor to find out why so much misinformation was given to me and if they have some new policy (re: DS being present) that she is not aware of. Someone from there is supposed to call me back.<br><br>
Hopefully this will smooth things out for Tuesday - I will go the appt, with my request letter in tow and that is it! No DS, SS card, no records, no exemption paperwork from PA, no video watching, no counseling accepting.<br><br>
I know I could go up to Melbourne and breeze right thru - but at this point, I want the idiots in Vero to be forced to comply with the law and give me my exemption - and not by their little "policies" either. Then maybe they will think twice about harassing another parent.<br><br>
Plus over the weekend I will draft a nice formal written complaint to forward to the Dept of Health. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 
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