Today, many parents are opting not to vaccinate their children citing reasons from religious beliefs to simply not trusting the data around the effectiveness or necessity of them. It's created a battle among parents, schools, and even governments in terms of public safety.
Recently, there was a chickenpox outbreak in a Michigan high school that led officials to pull 37 students from school and putting them in quarantine (at home) for two weeks because their parents could not prove they were up to date on the virus' vaccination. Now, parents are crying "discrimination."
According to the school, they followed all proper protocol when there is an outbreak (it only takes two confirmed cases to be considered an "outbreak" in the school system). School officials said they "discretely" pulled each of the 37 students from their classrooms and called their parents to arrange for pickup for the kids' own safety from the virus.
However, several parents disagree with how this protocol was handled. Stacy DeShon, the spokesperson for the group of parents who are upset with how this situation was handled, said that the school "showed total disregard for the emotional welfare or physical safety of the students who were forced to leave school grounds, and not being able to return for 2 weeks." These parents believe that the situation wasn't managed in a discrete manner, but in a way that shamed the students who couldn't prove their immunity.
The parents also say that "the students were put outside on the street. They were not allowed to call for rides or get their things, and those that rode a bus home were left sitting outside with nowhere to go". One parent said she received a text from one of her two kids while she was at work that said they had been "kicked out" of school and had no idea why. Other parents were frustrated by the situation because it was "inconvenient" for working parents.
The school continues to maintain they followed all proper procedures for the situation. They also tell parents that the two week period may be extended if more cases arise because it will continue to be a risk to unvaccinated students to be on campus, which only has only infuriated the parents more.
The students say they have felt ostracized by the entire situation, and parents are angry that the school is "trampling" on their privacy and right to decide whether or not to put their child through a "medical procedure". The parents are even considering forming a non-profit organization to help inform parents of their rights when it comes to medical consent and privacy in the school.
Hopefully, all of these students stay healthy and safe through the outbreak and parents will see all of these measures were taken to protect their children, not to discriminate against them.