As many of you know, the NYS Board of Regents is scheduled to vote this
December 8th on whether or not to retain a recent State Education Department (SED)
rule change (from Sept 29th) that was VERY favorable to parents seeking
religious exemptions from school vaccinations.
The rule in effect since last September allows parents to claim the exemption without the attendant intrusive interrogations into their religious beliefs and medical records. The Board is expected to follow the recommendations of the Counsel for the Commissioner and rescind the rule, UNLESS we can prevail upon them to do otherwise.
HOW YOU CAN HELP
At this late stage, one thing that may tip the balance in our favor is if a mainstream media news organization airs the controversy from our point of view. Fortunately, a member of our coalition, John Gilmore, has interested one of his media contacts to interview a parent who has been forced into the ordeal of submitting to these religious tribunals. The one thing we have going for us is the spectre of school officials abusing parents who are merely trying to exercise their religious and medical rights to raise their own kids as they see fit.
If you feel you've been hardshipped by the various screening methods that some schools employ, and may be willing to be interviewed on TV, then please contact John (ie: Not me).
John is President of the New York Metro Chapter of the National Autism Association and has been very active all year in helping us with our exemption legislation. Please reply directly to him so we can move quickly on this.
--- Require the complete medical records of all members of family.
--- Require verbal depositions with parents and sometimes children.
--- Require parents to complete very extensive questionnaires, containing questions of a medical or religious nature that may be too personal, or irrelevent to 'sincerity testing'.
--- Some schools intimidate parents by "hinting" that Child Welfare agencies may have to be alerted if you do not vaccinate, sometimes even before they receive your letter or application for the waiver.
If you're willing to be interviewed by a TV news organization, then reply only to John. I'll confer with him afterwards.
Obviously, there's no guarrantee that a news segment will be done on this issue, or that our agenda will be favorably presented by them. And of course you cannot be anonymous: Yet only names of interviewees are usually mentioned in news segments like these---your addresses will not be disclosed to the viewers.
Reply to John Gilmore:
Coalition For Informed Choice
188-34 87th Drive
Hollis, NY 11423