A judge in New York has ruled against anti-vaxxer parents who want to send their unvaccinated kids to school during a measles outbreak.
More than 40 unvaccinated students were banned from the private Green Meadow Waldorf School in Rockland County, where local residents are currently experiencing a measles outbreak. Several parents attempted to overturn the ban in court, but the judge ruled with the county health commissioner (and with public safety).
The students were banned because of the high risk of contracting and spreading the measles at the school, where there is only a 70% vaccination rate due to religious objections.
The controversial parents said the ban was doing more harm than good.
“Preventing my child from being with his class, his teacher, his classroom has had a significant social and psychological impact,” one mother who wouldn’t give her name claimed.
The unidentified parent added her youngster has missed 90 days of class at the private Green Meadow Waldorf School in Rockland County.
They’re right that preventing a kid from going to school and seeing friends can have a severe psychological impact. They’re ignoring how letting their kids go to school could be hazardous to everyone’s physical health. If they vaccinated their kids, all those problems would be solved.
These parents are complaining about a problem when a solution is in plain sight.
The ban is hardly discriminatory. It didn’t even come from the school — or from anyone who would have a reason to pick on unvaccinated kids. It came directly from the county, which is in an already under-vaccinated area and is currently experiencing a serious outbreak.
In December, the county health commissioner ordered unvaccinated children at 60 private schools in two zip codes to stay home until a severe measles outbreak ended.
Green Meadows families sued, saying the so-called “exclusion order” was too broad and should not apply to schools that have no current measles cases.
“I do not believe state law gives the authority to the public health commissioner of the county or the state to exclude children from school where there is no reported case of measles in the specific school,” attorney Michael Sussman said.
Judge Vincent Briccetti disagreed, saying the exclusion order to protect public health was “neither arbitrary nor outrageous.”
“We have to stand strong for the protection of the babies and the infirm who would be affected by this disease,” Rockland County attorney Thomas Humbach added.
That’s like getting mad at the government for forcing you to install smoke alarms in your home when there hasn’t even been a fire there. That’s the whole point. It’s about prevention.
The ruling was a victory for common sense — and for the public’s health in general.
(Image via Shutterstock)