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Change to student vaccinations

Parents with school-age children will face new legislation, effective the first of the year, requiring their child to be fully immunized, unless exempted by law.

According to this legislation, the superintendent (or designee) shall not unconditionally admit any student to an elementary or secondary school, preschool, or child care and development program for the first time; nor, after July 1, 2016, admit or advance any student to 7th grade unless the student has been fully immunized or is exempted by law.

“What’s different is that we cannot accept personal exemptions after December of this year,” Bass Lake Joint Union Elementary School District Superintendent Glenn Reid said. “The ability to receive a personal exemption will not be allowed after that date. Honestly, we only have a handful who request personal exemptions, and we’re trying to get the word out.”

The grade spans have been broken up as follows: birth to preschool, grades K-6, and grades 7-12. The way it will work is that personal exemption requests made before Jan. 1 for a 7th-grade student, for example, will cover that student throughout high school. However, if you have a student in the 6th grade, because the next grade span requiring immunization is 7-12, a personal exemption letter won’t be accepted; a note from your physician would be required to exclude your child from vaccinations.

Required Immunizations

Currently, students must present documentation showing full immunization against the following diseases:

* Measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR)

* Diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis (whooping cough) (DTP, DTaP, or Tdap)

* Poliomyelitis (polio)

* Hepatitis B

* Varicella (chickenpox)

* Haemophilus influenza type b (Hib meningitis)

* Any other disease designated by the CDPH

Barring students from attendance

Before an already admitted student is excluded from school attendance because of lack of immunization, the superintendent or designee must notify the parent/guardian that they have 10 school days to supply evidence of proper immunization or an appropriate exemption.

If a conditionally admitted student has not received required immunizations within 10 days after the parent/guardian has been notified of the need to do so, the student shall be excluded until written evidence is provided that the vaccines due at that time have been received.

Upon exclusion of the child, a parent/guardian may meet with the superintendent or designee to discuss the exclusion. If they still disagree with the exclusion decision, they may appeal the decision to the Governing Board.

Exemptions

To be exempted by law, the parent or guardian must file a written statement by a licensed physician with the district. The statement must explain that the physical condition of the child is such, or medical circumstances relating to the child are such, that immunization is not considered safe. The statement must show the specific nature and probable duration of the medical condition or circumstances, including, but not limited to, family medical history, for which the physician does not recommend immunization.

Or, the student’s parent or guardian must file with the district, before Jan. 1, 2016, a letter or written affidavit stating that an immunization is contrary to personal beliefs, in which case the student shall be exempt from immunization until enrollment in the next applicable grade span requiring immunization.

Students who are enrolled in an independent study program, and do not receive classroom-based instruction, are exempt.

“Some parents of incoming kindergartners may be upset, and may become upset with us, but it’s not us ... it’s Sacramento, and we’re just following the law,” Reid said. “There is an active group out there opposed to this law, who believe rights are being trampled and that parents need to rise up, but I really don’t believe this will have a huge impact here.”

Protestors across the country, especially in larger cities, have planned rallies demanding that the Centers for Disease Control be transparent with the truth about the effects of vaccinations, specifically on African American boys vaccinated between 18-36 months of age - some research has shown this population is 240% more likely to develop autism.

Staff report

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