The Rochester School District in Minneapolis is taking extreme measures to force students to receive required immunizations.
Over 60 students who have not received vaccinations were removed from class at the Rochester School District in Minneapolis, Minnesota. On February 21, the school board unanimously voted to remove any students who had not complied with immunization standards. The board indicated an “unusually high” number this year of students without vaccination documentation.
Rochester school district says they spent the better part of February attempting to communicate with parents of the more than 200 outstanding students. In a statement, the district claimed to have taken “every reasonable measure”, including providing information about where families could receive vaccinations free of charge. The school emphasized it was their “sincere hope that all parents would comply with the law and avoid having their children miss any school”.
Regardless, when the March 1st deadline came around, over a quarter had still failed to provide proof of vaccination or exemption. At this point, dozens of students were taken out of class and supervised in a “safe and supervised location”. They were instructed they could not return to class until they submitted the appropriate documentation.
Minnesota students must present official medical documentation of having received immunizations for rubella, diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio, mumps, haemophilus influenzae type b, and hepatitis B.
Vaccine opponents cite health concerns, including the possible side effects of seizures, paralysis, and death. They also contend “numerous studies prove that vaccines may trigger problems like autism, ADHD, and diabetes”. The Center for Disease Control recommends 29 doses of 9 vaccines for children under 6, as well as a yearly flu shot.
Many people believe the government should not interfere with personal medical choices, and vaccine mandates infringe upon constitutionally protected religious freedoms. There is concern for the commercial interest of pharmaceutical companies, and controversy regarding certain ingredients in vaccines, i.e. human plasma proteins, mercury and animal products that conflict with vegetarian or vegan lifestyles.
Minnesota is one of 17 states that permits medical, religious, and philosophical exemptions to immunization standards. Of almost 18,000 students in the Rochester school district, administrators report 370 have submitted waivers for a conscientious exemption, while a further 125 have received medical exemptions.
“We want these students in our classrooms, so we continue to attempt to reach the families and explain the process,” said Heather Nessler, director of communications at Rochester Public Schools. “We do not ask our families about why they have or have not vaccinated their children, therefore, we cannot speculate as to why the students haven’t turned in the paperwork,” she added.
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