“Parents Who Won’t Vaccinate Kid Sue Catholic Preschool”

“A Rockland County family filed suit against the New York Archdiocese after a Catholic preschool wouldn’t accept their child because she has not been fully vaccinated, according to the Post. The couple — who filed the suit anonymously — claim they are the victims of religious discrimination and are seeking a court order so their 4-year-old can attend the St. Margaret School in Pearl River after the preschool rejected their request for a religious exemption.” [Gothamist]


  • Isn’t proper childhood vaccination a New York State mandated requirement for admission to any school?

  • Good to see someone finally standing up for their constitutional right to enter another’s private property for the express purpose of infecting the property owner’s associates with serious, preventable diseases.

  • You’re funny Max. Now show me the scientific double-blind studies that prove vaccine effectiveness.

    Oh wait, we can’t do that since we would have to give placebos to thousands of kids and see what happens in 20 years.

    That being said, the school should be allowed to decide who it will and won’t accept.

  • Luckily for us, Invid, some stalwart parents around the nation and world have shown us the way to buck decades of medical and scientific work to eradicate disease to bring back the good vibes of outbreaks of whooping cough, measles, and other delightful childhood diseases we were in danger of forgetting. Your child probably won’t die from the outbreak passed along in an undervaccinated population, and may not even have any lasting complications! Enjoy!

    As more to the topic, anonymous lawsuits? Obviously, the young child’s identity should be protected but the parents too? Weak.

  • Invid,

    I can’t give you your precious double blind, but how about a little cause and effect. Look up the world wide polio cases prior to 1986. Now look it up for today. Hint several years ago the Western hemisphere was declared polio free and with the exception of a some isolated cases in Africa and India, also the rest of the world.

    Cause – in the late 80s Rotary International undertook a program called Polio Plus with the goal of immunizing every child against polio (the plus are some other vaccines that can be given at the same time for little additional cost. While the World Health Organization likes to take credit, this program was funded primarily by contributions from Rotarians. While the goal of perfection has not been attained the success to date is pretty good. The effect is in the previous paragraph.

    The so-called negatives against childhood immunizations do not hold water (rumor has it they do hold BS) and the consequences to the child should they get one of these illnesses can be catastrophic.

    However the job is not done, but the Gates Foundation recently signed on with some matching funds. So if you want to do some good, find a Rotarian and make a contribution.

    I don’t know all the facts of this case, but I can say from my view required immunizations is one of the few government regulations that bears fruit.

  • Oh come on Invid, just admit that you want to kill us off for our precious protoculture.

    Actually though, you can find studies of recent outbreaks of measles and mumps caused by parents not vaccinating their children:


    Herd immunity is a good thing.

  • The polio vacine was subjected to the largest double blind study in the history of medicine. I vividly remember the joy when the the officials said “it works”. There were 50,000 cases in one year in the early 1950’s. The disease was officially eradicated in the United States in 1994, although we suffered just a handfull of cases per year for quite a while before then.

    Vaccinations work only when a sufficient proportion of the population is immunized. I believe the parameter is lamda. Failure to vaccinate harms society and thus the State has the right, indeed the obligation, to require vaccinations.

    Plaintiff lawyers put vaccine programs at risk from litigation. The Congress had to act in the 1980’s to protect our children from these fiends.

    There is a cadre of scientists who devote their lives to protecting our children. They do more than chant on the internet. I am disgusted hubris of Robert Kennedy et al who ignorantly attack vaccinations.

  • Aren’t there some children who, for whatever reason, were vaccinated, but the vaccine did not confer immunity? What about those kids? Are they not endanger from those parents decision not to vaccine their kids?

  • Attorneys love situations like this – they make money either way. If you don’t admit the student, sue the school. If you admit a child who gets someone sick, you sue the school for that. Heck, even if no one gets sick, you can still sue them for the mental trauma of putting children at risk.

  • Nice to see people like Invid want to bring back Polio, Diphtheria, Measles, and a whole host of preventative diseases that disfigure, cripple and kill.

    You first Invid (And your like-minded simpletons). Personally I like NY’s mandate.

  • Be careful about saying vaccines are so great. I still vaccinate my children, but I know A LOT of people who do not, and not for the reasons that you may think. They don’t adhere to the mercury causes autism thing, but they don’t like what the vaccines are made out of. There are some very harmful chemicals in them, and because there are kids who get sick (and what about those adults who get sick – we don’t know if they’re from a vaccine – we just don’t know), what if it is being caused by some of those ingredients that we would never put in our bodies for any other reason? I think vaccines ARE important, BUT, without the nasty chemicals in them. There must be a better way. Like I said, I still vaccinate my kids, because I understand what happens if you don’t, but I am still nervous about all the toxins that are in those vaccines. Also, I have noticed recently that those shots are getting more and more vaccines in each. For example, my older kids got the MMR, DTaP, and 1 other at once, so 3 shots total. Now, they are getting the MMR, DTaP, HepB, and a few others, but still only in 2 shots! People were already worried what more than 3 at a time would do, now we’re getting more than 3 in FEWER shots at a time. Something doesn’t sit well with me with that.

    As for this article, if you don’t want to vaccinate your children, be prepared to homeschool, because it’s true that most, if not all, schools will not let your child attend. Public schools, for sure, as far as I know, and private schools usually get to make their own choice about that (at least, it seems that way at our church’s private school here in WI).

  • Sara,

    What chemical(s) are you so afraid of?

  • Yes, tell us. My kids get vaccinated. I think to do otherwise is foolish. Please tell us what the “harmful” chemicals are?

  • Sara’s argument from ignorance will make sense, as soon as vaccination kills, maims, seriously injures, or temporarily impairs as many as it currently protects from similar “adverse affects” thru the agent of disease(s) it vaccinates against. I, for one, will continue to seek vaccination for me and mine.

    Like any good poker player, I look at the odds, and take the play that maximizes my chances – it won’t win every hand, but its the only winning strategy over the long haul.

    Can vaccines be improved? Perhaps, and I welcome that research – but won’t stop vaccinating while waiting for perfection – its not a perfect world.

  • Anytime the skin is pierced or a foreign substance introduced into the body (or any medical procedure done), there is a finite risk of an untoward complication. Fortunately, pre-vaccination benefit/risk of the vaccination program to both society and to each individual who is vaccinated is so overwhelmingly in favor of vaccination that it is a no brainer to have one’s children get the required vaccines. Currently, it is impossible to tell if any person will suffer an adverse consequence prior to vaccination unless they have had an adverse reaction before. I have personaly seen many people with paralysis from polio and nasty consequences from other now preventable diseases. Polio at its peak infected about 55,000 Americans per year, and now the number is near zero. These diseases were widespread and their consequences usually serious. I have also seen injuries from vaccination ranging from minor injection site tenderness to full blown Guillain-Barré syndrome, but any serious vaccination injuries are few and far between. It does however suck if you happen to be one of the unlucky few (in the magnitude of 1 in a million) who gets seriously injured.
    A very small percentage of people are injured and an even smaller percentage die from required vaccinations, and for this HHS runs the National Vaccine Injury Compensdsation Program. Congress legislated this program so that the vaccine companies (or their product) would not get sued out of existence.

    From the government website:
    “On October 1, 1988, the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986 (Public Law 99-660) created the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP). The VICP was established to ensure an adequate supply of vaccines, stabilize vaccine costs, and establish and maintain an accessible and efficient forum for individuals found to be injured by certain vaccines. The VICP is a no-fault alternative to the traditional tort system for resolving vaccine injury claims that provides compensation to people found to be injured by certain vaccines. The U. S. Court of Federal Claims decides who will be paid. ”

    One cannot normally sue the manufacturer without first going through the VICP for covered vaccines. There are other programs for compensation for injuries suffered from other vaccines (e.g. seasonal flu vaccines) but those are not applicable here.

    To Sara B.: The things that are in vaccines that one may not want to put into one’s body are vaccine contaminants (SV40 monkey virus) that infect the kidney cells of monkeys used to make some oral polio vaccines. Also, some people (very few) receiving live virus vaccines come down with the disease it is intended to prevent. Chemicals having long complicated names (polyhexinthisandthat) used in vaccines have a proven safey record, but they may turn off the mother who wants to raise her kid on an “organic” diet.

  • A question. If parents choose not to vaccinate their child and that child contracts and spreads that disease to another child. Can the second childs parents sue the first? What if the kid spreads to all those on a aircraft?

  • VMS comment is excellent, I have a couple of nit-pics.

    There are at least three types of polio virus, and one of the three can cause polio when included in a live-virus vaccination. That one particular strain was eliminated from the oral vaccine once it was eradicated and we have not had any polio in the United States in years.

    Getting rid of polio a la smallpox is hindered by war lords and ignorant religious people. I heard a talk on c-span about the eradication efforts from Bruce Aylward. The man, and his colleagues, are heroic.

    Kids get sick all the time. There was a report not very long ago by the English government taking great joy in reducing pre age 5 mortality from 60% down to 40%. Sara B lives in a strange world where ignorant hysteria is held on par with modern medical science. At least she vaccinates her own children.

  • “Good to see someone finally standing up for their constitutional right to enter another’s private property for the express purpose of infecting the property owner’s associates with serious, preventable diseases.”

    Good to see someone finally standing up for the state’s right to inject me with whatever they see fit. Heck, why not make all vaccinations mandatory. You line up everyone and give them the shots. If they refuse, arrest them and inject them. Now that is some universal health care for you.

    And before you jump up and call me an ignorant ill informed “religious moron”, let me add that I do vaccinate. I choose, however, to be informed and to weigh the “cost/benefit” prior to accepting them for myself or my children.

    Not all vaccinations are created equal. I do believe that some are absolutely required and prudent. Others, however, are knee-jerk and reactionary. For example, the swine flu virus. (or the “regular” flu, for that matter. How long have we been vaccinating for that, yet it still kills thousands every year in the US)

    Also, vaccinations are not zero-risk. It is in your best interest to know what the risks are and to determine if they outweigh the benefits.

    All that being said. I really don’t think that the parents have a leg to stand on in this case. It is a private school and they are not required to accept applicants.

  • Ed,

    I repeat part of my comment above. There is a parameter lambda that applies to vaccinations. A rather high lambda applied to polio. It relates to the minimum level of vaccinations required for successful immunization. One’s freedom to decline vaccinations affects all of society, and thus the State has the right require vaccinations from high risk diseases.

    Obviously we can let people choose whether to obey traffic lights. Did you study the cost/benefit of traffic lights?

  • throckmorton: No. The legislature has specifically declined to create such a cause of action. The legislature has specifically permitted parents to opt out of vaccines. I don’t think you can argue that a legal duty is breached in a case where the legislature has repeatedly expressly declined to create such a duty. (Except in an unusual situation, perhaps, where you can argue that such a duty was created in some other way.)

  • Interesting to note that the parents were claiming religious discrimination, because they have a religious objection to vaccines. I wonder what makes them think they can send their child to a Catholic school, and not expect it to be run according to Catholic principles rather than theirs.

  • As I wrote, some vaccinations are prudent, but not all.
    Your strawman argument of traffic lights has nothing to do with this topic. I will, however, address it. Yes I think that traffic lights are prudent. But even traffic lights come in a “flashing yellow/red” mode that requires you to choose the safest course of action.

    My biggest problem/fear is that some feel that the government should FORCE vaccinations.
    What else would you like the government to take complete control over in your life?
    What you eat?
    What you wear?
    What you say?
    Where do we stop?

    You may be content to let a bunch of nitwits who cannot seem to be able to balance a checkbook run your lives, I am not.

  • Ed,

    You may be too young to remember the iron lungs of the 1950’s. My children had a nearly zero risk of being imprisioen in one of those machines. I and the American public thought the developers of Polio vaccines to be heroes, not nitwits.

    Where do we stop? With the nitwits who gave us CPSIA. Sometimes government works well, some times it doesn’t.