ROCHESTER, Minnesota — Last month, the Rochester School Board voted on a measure which says that students who attend Rochester Public Schools will be turned away, not allowed to attend class until they comply with immunization laws.
According to the Minnesota statute “no person over two months old may be allowed to enroll or remain enrolled in any elementary #school or secondary school or child care facility” until the person has submitted documentation of compliance with compulsory immunization requirements. This means that state law prohibits students from attending school if they have not submitted paperwork showing they’re up to date on their vaccinations or have a legal exemption.
That’s why 71 students of the Rochester Public Schools were sent home with a letter reminding #parents that they can’t attend school without the required paperwork about immunization. Once a student’s vaccinations are up to date they can return to school.
They problem is that some parents don’t want to vaccinate their kids because their religion doesn’t allow reasonable medical child care. However, Kayla Dee, a Rochester mother of three, is refusing to vaccinate her children because of her religious beliefs, as she explained for television station KTTC:
“My religious beliefs are if you get sick with something it’s part of your plan in life. So why get the vaccinations to try to prevent it? Those diseases are going to suck if you get them, but if you live through them great. If you don’t that’s your plan in life. Also medically it’s against my beliefs because who really knows what’s in these vaccinations?”
Dee said she will home school her kids if fighting the law doesn’t work but the sad fact about this case is that she can get #Vaccine Exemption for religious reasons. Vaccine exemptions generally fall into three types of exemption – medical, religious belief and personal/conscientious belief. In fact, as of 2016, all U.S. states allow a religious exemption to vaccination except California, Mississippi and West Virginia.
Kris Ehresmann, director for Infectious Disease at the Minnesota Department of Health, said that Rochester’s immunization rates are above the Minnesota average, but she welcomed the district’s move to enforce state vaccination requirements.