Vaccines – General: Swine Flu Vaccines and Schools

July 07, 2010


By Holly Bortfeld
November 29, 2009

My children have been homeschooled for a number of years but this year, my 16 year old daughter chose to go back to public school just when schools became vaccine clinics!

Because my daughter has an Autism Spectrum Disorder, she is immuno-compromised. I asked her doctor if removing my child from school is necessary and he said, “If they are doing the injections only and not the nasal spray, there is no concern as there is no spread that can happen*. But if they give the nasal spray, either remove her or give her immune booster supplements and have her wear a mask all day, which should reduce the risk about 80%." As you can imagine, the mask did not go over well with my daughter. Nor should she have to be put at risk because the Department of Education decided it was acceptable to perform medical procedures on campus without proper medical monitoring and without regard for immunocompromised children, in my opinion.

My daughter does not have an IEP, but has a 504 plan. Under Section 504, even those without a formal diagnosis or a “504 Plan” but those “regarded” as having a disability are protected.

When I met with the head of special education and the principal before school started, I told them that my daughter would not be getting the flu vaccine and if they chose to give the vaccines on campus, I would remove her each day that they administered the vaccines. Also, if they gave the nasal spray, which has 11 (some research says 21) days of viral shedding because it’s a live virus, that they would have to let her work from home without penalty or put her in "homebound instruction" program during that period.

Our school also was to be implementing a cyber option of the curriculum that they hoped to be ready by October, but wasn’t. If your school district has a cyber option that they can carry on their class work at home which is much more likely at a high school level, you may do that without penalty.

If your school does not have the cyber option and the nasal vaccine is being given on campus, then you will need a doctor’s letter that cites your child’s (and/or his/her siblings) weakened immune system, which if exposed to children who are shedding the virus for those 11-21 days, it would make them even sicker. If they hold a vaccine clinic on campus more than once, this must be repeated each time they hold a clinic. However, if you incorporate this into a “health plan” in the child’s IEP or 504 Plan, you shouldn’t have to repeat these steps as the health plan or IEP will control this matter.

The bad news is that the schools are more likely to use the nasal spray at elementary schools, so they don’t have to deal with all the crying from pointy needles, so parents need to prepare by knowing your state law about homebound instruction and to start boosting those immune systems!!

TIP! Things that boost immune the system are Vitamins C, A, D3, Zinc, Elderberry, Oscillococcinum, Larix, Selenium, Colostrum and Olive Leaf among others. Also remember that sugar is an immunosuppressant so reduce as much sugar, candy, juice and carbohydrates as you can during this time.

About Homebound Instruction

The federal citations for home instruction are: 20 USC Sec. 1412(a)(5) and 34 CFR Sections 300.39 and 300.115

“Because federal guidelines permit children with disabilities to receive an education, even if your child has a temporary disability, the right to continued education is mandated. Under federal guidelines, any child with a disability is permitted to obtain an education in the least restrictive environment possible. For this reason, if your child is unable to attend school, due to a temporary disability, homebound instruction should be considered. Within each school district, there should be a staff of homebound instructors that can provide the delivery of education to your child at home or even in a hospital setting.”

A note about homebound instruction: Please note that if your child is in a 6-hour program at school, that a homebound program will likely provide a teacher for 1 hour a day, not the full 6. Federal law does not set any minimum or maximum hours per day for a homebound program but only says the teacher “will cover the child’s curriculum." States vary in their laws so ask an advocate in your state.

Giving Vaccines on School Campus

Life Health Choices published “An open letter to schools” on their website which you can print off for your school  and also has a great primer on the subject.

Another article on giving vaccines in school, from the NVIC.

I checked into my local law (you need to ask about yours) but the vaccine funding only gives the shots to the kids, not the staff. The staff have to get their own shots off campus.

Unfortunately, as you can see from the links below, schools are vaccinating children, even sick children, against parent’s direct wishes and against their consent. To be safe, I have chosen to remove my child from school each day that vaccines will be administered on campus since the schools clearly cannot adhere to the parent’s legal non-consent.

  1. Public School Nurses Give Swine Flu Vaccine to Kids Without Parents' OK, Sends Child to Hospital
  2. Another Child Given Swine Flu Vaccine Without Consent
  3. Another City Student Gets Flu Vaccine by Mistake: Dept. of Ed. Officials

So your choices are to leave your child in school and risk exposure; pull your child out of school and then either

  1. use the cyber option, if available
  2. demand homebound instruction
  3. collect homework for your child to do at home so they don’t fall behind while absent and provide a doctor’s note.

The Legalities of the Situation

Unfortunately the current situation of widespread vaccination on school campus is new and there is no precedent to reference in regards to homebound for children NOT YET ILL. We have kids who will certainly get sick if they attend a school filled with children who are shedding live viruses but since they are not yet sick, do they fall under the legal guidelines for Homebound Instruction? The current law is unclear, but the Courts are required to consider each child’s needs on an individual basis if that child has an IEP in place.

It wasn’t our choice to fill the school with virus shedding kids and leaving our kids in with the vaccinated kids is a risk not worth taking for a lot of people, especially with immunocompromised children, such as those with ASD.

We ask: What legal basis does the school have to DENY your child education during the school’s self-imposed viral outbreak?

Sample Letters From Your Doctor to the School

Here are two samples of the types of doctor’s letters that you may need.  The first is if you are requesting homebound instruction.

Letter example #1

I am the treating physician for [insert child’s name].  [insert child’s name] has a weakened immune system and therefore should not be exposed to persons vaccinated with the nasal spray of the flu vaccine, seasonal or H1N1, for a minimum of 11 calendar days after administration. The vaccine manufacturer’s package insert says that immunocompromised people are at risk from the nasal vaccine’s live virus (17.2 Medimmune Insert) therefore, I am recommending for [insert child’s name] be removed from the school campus during these periods of on-campus live virus vaccine administration. I am also recommending that the school district provide home instruction by appropriately credentialed personnel while [child] remains at home. This live-virus blockade also extends to any staff sent to the house to work with [insert child’s name].

Letter example #2 If you are not requesting homebound instruction.

I am the treating physician for [insert child’s name].  [insert child’s name] has a weakened immune system and therefore should not be exposed to persons vaccinated with the nasal spray of the flu vaccine, seasonal or H1N1, for a minimum of 11 calendar days after administration. The vaccine manufacturer’s package insert says that immunocompromised people are at risk from the nasal vaccine’s live virus (17.2 Medimmune Insert) therefore, I am recommending [insert child’s name] be removed from the school campus during these periods of on-campus live virus vaccine administration.

Please excuse [insert child’s name] from school for the period of [enter dates here] due to his/her immunocompromised state.

Why wouldn’t I want my child to get the H1N1 vaccine?

In case you are new to this subject…

Even the FDA says they don’t know if it’s safe for anyone under the age of 18, or pregnant women.

“Safety and effectiveness of Influenza A (H1N1) 2009 Monovalent Vaccine have not been established in pregnant women, nursing mothers or in persons less than 18 years of age. (8.1, 8.3, 8.4)”

The “safety” study compared a placebo that contained thimerosal, therefore skewing all data from the trial as a placebo, by definition, should not contain known reactive toxins. (Table 1, line 130; Table 1, line 141) section 14.5 discusses viral shedding.

This research paper discusses the viral shedding from live virus vaccines.

Need a Primer on Why Giving Mercury (Thimerosal) to Children is Stupid?

The Dangers of Mercury in the H1N1 Vaccine article

Placement - Homebound

Homebound Education State-by-State Comparison

The following was excerpted from, by LRP, a company that advises schools on how to combat parents in the fight for adequate education for their children.

In some cases, a homebound placement is appropriate for a student with a disability.

Key Points:

Circumstances When Homebound Placements are Appropriate

  • Special education includes specially designed instruction conducted in the home. 34 CFR 300.39 (a)(1).

  • Although considered the most restrictive placement on the LRE continuum of alternative placements, a homebound placement may be appropriate for some students with disabilities. See generally 34 CFR 300.115 (b).

  • Homebound placements are often deemed appropriate for students with disabilities who are unable to attend school for medical reasons, whether on a permanent or temporary basis. See, e.g., Walker County Bd. of Educ., 31 IDELR 152 (SEA AL 1999); Northside Indep. Sch. Dist., 33 IDELR 201 (SEA TX 2000); Hawaii v. Katherine D., 555 IDELR 276 (9th Cir. 1983); and Williford Sch. Dist., 29 IDELR 298 (SEA AK 1998).

  • Some schools require a doctor's recommendation for students who seek homebound instruction due to a temporary disabling condition. This is a wise practice because it documents the need for such an arrangement. See Jefferson City (MO) Sch. Dist., 19 IDELR 437 (OCR 1992); Richmond (VA) City Pub. Sch., 19 IDELR 440 (OCR 1992). However, the LRE presumption would require a return to the typical school setting, if and when it was determined to be appropriate to the student's educational needs.

Entitlements for Homebound Students

  • Homebound students have the right to receive the same special education entitlements and protections as other students - the only difference is that these special education programs are implemented in the home rather than in an educational facility.

Unilateral Homebound Placements

  • Parents have been allowed to recover expenses associated with a unilateral homebound placement under the same circumstances where reimbursement has been awarded to unilaterally placed private school students, in accordance with Burlington v. Department of Education for Massachusetts, 556 IDELR 389 (1985). Also see Brad J. v. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, 22 IDELR 712 (E.D. Pa. 1995).

Participation in Extracurricular Activities by Students on Homebound

  • For students on homebound instruction who are physically able to participate in school district extracurricular activities and are desirous of doing so, the failure to include students in this regard may constitute discrimination under Section 504 and the ADA. See, e.g., Morris (NJ) Sch. Dist., 31 IDELR 170 (OCR 1999).

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