Seattle is a hotbed for “vaccine hesitancy,” which is now considered a global health threat, and that has resulted in more than 2,000 students potentially being banned from public schools.
Parents were informed by the state government that they have until January 8 to get their kids vaccinated so that they can return to class, and that there would be shots given at free clinics for those who are interested. The letters were the result of a bill that eliminated all religious and philosophical exemptions to the measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine.
But at least everyone else will be safe.
A spokesperson with Seattle Public Schools told USA TODAY on Monday that over 2,000 students’ records are out of compliance, a drop from the more than 7,000 who were out of compliance in September.
If a student is still out of compliance by the Jan. 8 deadline, they “will be received in a designated room at school, while school staff contacts the parents/guardians,” the spokesperson wrote in an email.
The district is home to 53,627 students, the district’s website reports.
“Unfortunately, by state law we have to exclude them,” district spokesman Tim Robinson told KOMO News in Seattle. “They would be excluded here, they would be excluded at any school district, and we certainly want to avoid that. I know all schools want to avoid it because you don’t want students to miss any school time.”
It’s in everyone’s best interest to make sure students at school are in a safe environment. That’s not the case if unvaccinated kids are allowed to roam the halls, getting in the way of strong herd immunity.
It’s not as though Seattle’s school district wants to keep kids from going to school. Blame their parents, who are choosing their own stubbornness and ignorance over the safety of their kids and those around them.
The only reason the law was passed was because some people were abusing the religious and philosophical exemptions, putting more people at risk of infection. The district is right to demand compliance. It would be irresponsible to do anything less.
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