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I posted about this previously, but then decided not to place my child in preschool. We've now found a preschool we're interested in and so now the issue has come up again.<br><br>
NYS law 2164 leads me to believe we should be able to get a religious exemption from vaccination for a private preschool:<br><br>
2164. Definitions; immunization against poliomyelitis, mumps,<br>
measles, diphtheria, rubella, varicella, Haemophilus influenzae type b<br>
(Hib), pertussis, tetanus, pneumococcal disease, and hepatitis B. 1. As<br>
used in this section, unless the context requires otherwise:<br>
The term "school" means and includes any public, private or<br>
parochial child caring center, day nursery, day care agency, nursery<br>
school, kindergarten, elementary, intermediate or secondary school.<br><br>
9. This section shall not apply to children whose parent, parents, or<br>
guardian hold genuine and sincere religious beliefs which are contrary<br>
to the practices herein required, and no certificate shall be required<br>
as a prerequisite to such children being admitted or received into<br>
school or attending school.<br><br>
The other preschools we looked at all had health forms included with the application that included a statement letting me know they would consider a religious exemption. For example:<br><br>
"Every child enrolled is required to have the necessary immunizations mandated by NYS health laws. Exemptions for immunizations on religious or heath grounds must be submitted to the school before your child begins attending. Your child will not be able to attend school without immunitzation records or an exemption letter."<br><br>
The school we're interested in doesn't have anything in the written materials addressing the possibility of religious exemption. I was hoping to just submit a letter stating,<br><br>
"We request an exemption from vaccination for ds because of our personal religious beliefs."<br><br>
I was hoping to not draw a lot of attention to it, but we already submitted the initial application which did not include anything related to vaccinations. We submitted this so that we could take ds for a visit to the school. The next step is to decide if we want to enroll him and give a $1000 deposit. So now I have to bring it up as a separate issue way before the time when she actually requires submission of evidence of vaccination. But I don't want there to be any confusion about it, given that $1000 is involved. I'd rather just not send him there than become involved in a legal battle after the fact over the $1000.<br><br>
I'm also concerned because the school is very small and the director is the teacher, so if she has any issues with our choice not to vaccinate, she might treat my child differently. For example, she might be more vigilant about not allowing him to attend with a runny nose compared to what she would do with other children.<br><br>
Thanks for reading this long post. Any advice or experience is helpful. If you're aware of other laws that affect private preschools in NYS or New York City, please let me know.
 
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