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Could We See a Measles Outbreak in Hanover? The Scary Truth

health-0326-measles-640x360By Kim Singhas

On October 11, 2014, I posted a blog on the Hanover Conservative Caucus titled: Think the children sitting in Hanover Schools are vaccinated? Think Again where I wrote about the potential public health threat facing Hanover County schools with unvaccinated illegal children coming to Hanover with the great migration of Unaccompanied Children.

 

Despite the Hanover County School Board policy requiring vaccinations, the Code of Virginia and Governor Terry McAuliffe demanded that unvaccinated children be admitted to public school. (see revised 2014 Code below) At a Town Hall meeting Oct 9th 2014 in Montpelier, Hanover County Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Jamelle Wilson revealed that there are 100 unvaccinated children in the Hanover County Public School system “due to religious exemptions.” The eight Unaccompanied Illegal Children admitted at the start of school seemed less significant with this revelation.

 

The recent outbreak of Measles traced to Disneyland in California, which spread quickly to other states, has reignited the national debate over vaccination of children and parental rights.

The hypocrisy of President Obama’s TV interview urging parents to vaccinate their children is stunning. It could be argued he created this health crisis by allowing unvaccinated Illegal Alien children to migrate to this country by the thousands last year from Central America while mandating a public education policy which allows unvaccinated children be admitted to school unconditionally. The perfect storm.

Measles was declared eliminated from the United States over 15 years ago. But we’ve now lost our Herd Immunity through poor public health policy combined with a non existent policy on immigration. Nearly a trillion dollars has been spent in the US to implement Obama Care, but we can’t have an effective public education campaign on vaccinations?

Measles is one of the most contagious viruses known to man.

Vaccination is 95 % effective. However, due to the need to vaccinate twice, unvaccinated infants and partially immunized young children (those who have only received one dose) are more susceptible. A measles outbreak in a Chicago Suburb Day Care Center this week in 5 infants proves their vulnerability.

The other 800 pound gorilla in the classroom is the threat of measles to the pregnant school teacher exposed to 30 children in the room.   How will Hanover County respond to a lawsuit from a pregnant teacher exposed to measles in the workplace?

It is time to demand the Code of the Commonwealth of Virginia be changed to require vaccination of all children who attend public school.

I have already received emails from parents who come down on the side of parental rights over public health.

Parents who refuse shots can homeschool. The children who want exemption for religious reasons can form their own religious school. But I want to remind all the parents of unvaccinated homeschoolers- you aren’t living on an isolated Kibbutz in Israel growing oranges in the desert. You take your kids to the mall, Walmart, Target, Kohls, Toys R Us, the library, the grocery store, little league, church on Sunday, the movies, the Children’s Museum, Mickey Ds and Chick Filet. You are a public health threat to infants, pregnant women, and people who are immunocompromised. Get off your high horse and take your kids to the Health Department and get your kids their shots.

Hanover requires dogs be vaccinated why not the kids?

There are currently over 700 students in Hanover who opted out of public school for private school or homeschooling.

When I wrote my blog in October I was contacted by several parents who told me they were homeschooling because they were not vaccinating their children.

I had one parent admit to me that their homeschool network in Western Hanover County has had a problem with whooping cough- pertussis- a highly contagious respiratory bacteria preventable with a series of DPT vaccines. So I find this article below completely without merit which appeared today stating that Virginia has a low population of unvaccinated children.

FEW CHILDREN IN VIRGINIA ARE UNVACCINATED

By ELIZABETH SIMPSON AND MIKE CONNORS

Virginian-Pilot (Metered Paywall – 10 articles a month)

A flurry of measles infections around the country – most linked to the exposure of several dozen people to the virus at Disneyland in California –

Hanover alone has enough unvaccinated children to pose a public health threat. I want to remind everyone, these diseases are reportable diseases. In other words, healthcare workers are required to report cases to the County Health Department so the CDC can track them. I wonder if a doctor sympathetic to parental rights not to vaccinate would fail to report communicable diseases?

I urge readers of HCC to call their delegates Buddy Fowler and Chris Peace and State Senators Ryan McDougle, Don McEachin, and Walter Stosch and urge them to propose legislation for the next General Assembly session to amend the Code of VA to require all students in public school in Virginia be vaccinated.

And since it is an election year- when you talk to the candidates: ask them where their children and grandchildren attend school. Their answers just might influence your vote.

District 55 (western Hanover) Buddy Fowler, DelBFowler@house.virginia.gov, 804-698-1055 or 804-305-8867

District 97 (eastern Hanover) Chris Peace, DelCPeace@house.virginia.gov, 804-698-1097 or 804-730-3737

Senate District 4, Ryan McDougle, district04@senate.virginia.gov, 804-698-7504 or 804-730-1026

Senate District 12, Walter Stosch, district12@senate.virginia.gov, 804-698-7512 or 804-527-7780

Senate District 9 (Ashland area), Don McEachin, district09@senate.virginia.gov, 804-698-7509 or 804-226-4111

 

Superintendent’s Memo No. 194-14
Revised August 4, 2014

 

COMMONWEALTH of VIRGINIA

Department of Education

July 25, 2014

TO:  Division Superintendents

FROM:  Steven R. Staples, Superintendent of Public Instruction

SUBJECT:  Student Enrollment Requirements

As you prepare for the 2014-2015 school year, I want to take the opportunity to remind you about certain enrollment requirements.  Please distribute this information as widely as possible throughout your school division.

 

Residency

Section 22.1-3 of the Code of Virginia provides that the public schools in each school division shall be free to each person of school age who resides within the school division.  A student is deemed a resident of a school division and entitled to enroll in school if he or she is living with a natural parent.  A court order or proof of custody cannot be required of a natural parent for the enrollment of a student who is living with him/her.  The student is also deemed to reside within the school division when the student is living with an adult relative providing temporary kinship care as defined in § 63.2-100 of the Code.  The school division may require one or both of the parents and the adult relative providing kinship care to submit certain documents and verifications in order to enroll the child.  Please see § 22.1-3 for more information on kinship care and the other instances under which a student is deemed a resident and entitled to enrollment.

 

Questions have arisen regarding a local school board’s authority to inquire into a prospective student’s citizenship or visa status and to bar enrollment to those students who reside within the school division but do not hold a student visa.  Pursuant to a decision by the United States Supreme Court, Plyler v. Doe, 457 U.S. 202 (1982), school divisions are required to accept students who meet residency requirements under § 22.1-3 of the Code and may not deny a free public education to undocumented school-age children who reside within their jurisdiction because they do not hold valid United States citizenship or a student visa.

 

On May 8, 2014, the United States Department of Education (USED) in conjunction with the United States Department of Justice (USDOJ) issued an advisory letter reminding educational agencies that under Federal law, state and local educational agencies are required to provide all children with equal access to public education at the elementary and secondary levels.  In the advisory letter, USED and USDOJ indicated that they had become aware of student enrollment practices that may discourage or lead to the exclusion of students based on their or their parents’ or guardians’ citizenship or immigration status.  The letter of May 8, 2014 replaced the advisory letter previously issued May 6, 2011 and was written in response to inquiries USED received about the May 6, 2011 letter.  The guidance in the May 8, 2014 letter is applicable to the 2014-2015 school year.

 

Here are highlights from the May 8, 2014 advisory letter:

 

  • A school division should review the list of documents that can be used to establish residency and ensure that any required documents would not unlawfully bar or discourage a student who is undocumented or whose parents are undocumented from enrolling in or attending public school.
  • As with residency requirements, rules vary among states and school divisions as to what documents students may use to show that they fall within state or district mandated minimum and maximum age requirements, and jurisdictions typically accept a variety of documents for this purpose.  A school division may not bar a student from enrolling in its schools because he or she lacks a birth certificate or has records that indicate a foreign place of birth, such as a foreign birth certificate.
  • School divisions have federal obligations, and in some instances, state obligations to report certain data, such as the race and ethnicity of their student population.  While the USED requires divisions to collect and report such information, divisions cannot use the acquired data to discriminate against students; nor should a parent’s or guardian’s refusal to respond to a request for this data lead to a denial of the child’s enrollment.

 

To ensure compliance, please read the advisory letter of May 8, 2014 very carefully.

Students with a Parent or Parents in the Military

A student is deemed a resident of a school division and cannot be denied admission or charged tuition if the student is living with a noncustodial parent or other person standing in loco parentis, not solely for school purposes, pursuant to a Special Power of Attorney executed under Title 10, United States Code, § 1044b, by the custodial parent.  Such students may continue to attend school in the school division they attended while residing with the custodial parent without paying tuition or they may attend school in the school division in which the noncustodial parent or other person standing in loco parentis resides without paying tuition.

 

Virginia is a member of the Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children.  The purpose of the Compact (§ 22.1-360 Code of Virginia) is to streamline the transfer of children of military families into Virginia public schools.  Specifically, the Compact addresses the following:  1) records and enrollment (Article IV), which contains provisions regarding record transfers, immunizations, and school entrance age; 2) placement and attendance (Article V), which contains provisions regarding course and program placement and special education services; 3) eligibility (Article VI), which addresses documentation requirements for enrollment; and 4) graduation (Article VII), which addresses how receiving school divisions will facilitate the on-time graduation of military transfer students.

The Department’s Web page provides additional information about the enrollment of students of military families.  The section labeled ‘Guidance Documents for Military Families’ contains a listing of all related superintendent’s memoranda and other enrollment resources.  The Web page may be found at http://www.doe.virginia.gov/support/student_family/military/index.shtml .

 

Social Security Numbers

School divisions may not refuse to enroll a student whose parent does not furnish a social security number for that student.  If your enrollment forms include a space for a social security number, you must explain to the parent that they are not required to provide the number, why you want the number, and how it will be used.  You must also explain the consequences of not providing the number.  The division superintendent or his designee may assign another identifying number or waive the requirement if a parent is unwilling to present a social security number for the child.  Please see Public Law 93-579 (federal law) and § 22.1-260 of the Code for additional information.

 

Expulsion Statement

When a student is registered, the parent must provide a sworn statement indicating whether the child has been expelled from attending a private school or another public school in Virginia or a school in another state for an offense involving weapons, alcohol or drugs, or for willful infliction of injury to another person.  In addition, the parent must provide a sworn statement or affirmation indicating whether the student has been found guilty of or adjudicated delinquent for any offense listed in subsection G of § 16.1-260 of the Code of Virginia or any substantially similar offense under the laws of any state, the District of Columbia, or the United States or its territories.  (§ 22.1-3.2 of the Code of Virginia).

 

Homeless Students

School divisions must immediately enroll homeless students and coordinate the provision of services to homeless students with relevant local social services agencies and other agencies and programs providing services to such students, and with other school divisions.  In addition, division superintendents cannot exclude from school attendance those homeless children who do not provide the requisite health or immunization information required of other students.  School divisions must immediately refer the student to the school division liaison required to assist the student in obtaining necessary physical examinations or proof of completion of immunizations.  For more information regarding the enrollment of homeless students, please review:  http://education.wm.edu/centers/hope/.

 

Students in Foster Care

A student who has been placed in foster care by a local social services agency shall be immediately enrolled even if the placing social services agency is unable to produce the documents required for enrollment.  In such cases, the person enrolling the student must provide a written statement at the time of enrollment.  See § 22.1-3.4 of the Code for additional information regarding the enrollment of students in foster care.

 

Comprehensive Preschool Physical Examination

Section 22.1-270 of the Code precludes the admission of students for the first time to any public kindergarten or elementary school in a school division unless the student furnishes either a report of a comprehensive physical examination from a qualified licensed physician, or a licensed nurse practitioner or licensed physician assistant acting under the supervision of a licensed physician.  The examination must be of the scope prescribed by the State Health Commissioner and must have been performed within 12 months before the date the student first enters the public school.  In the alternative, students may provide records showing that they furnished such a report upon admission to another school or school division and provide the information that was contained in that report.

 

Please note that while the report of the comprehensive physical examination must contain the elements prescribed by the State Health Commissioner, state law does not require it to be on the School Entrance Health Form, MCH 213F, in order to be accepted by the local school board.  Therefore, school divisions cannot deny enrollment to a student who provides the necessary report on a different form.  Section 22.1-270 also includes special provisions for homeless students as well as an exemption from the physical examination for students whose parents object for religious reasons.  Additionally, § 22.1-3.4 of the Code provides specific requirements for the immediate enrollment of children in foster care who do not have the requisite physical examination report.  For more information, please refer to Superintendent’s Memorandum #103-12, issued on April 20, 2012:  http://www.doe.virginia.gov/administrators/superintendents_memos/2012/103-12.shtml .

 

Transfer Students

Section 22.1-253.13:4 of the Code of Virginia (Standard 4 of the Standards of Quality) requires local school boards to make provisions for students who transfer between public secondary schools and from nonpublic schools or from home instruction as outlined in the Regulations Establishing Standards for Accrediting Public Schools in Virginia (SOA).  The SOA provides:

 

Students transferring in grades K-8 from Virginia public schools or nonpublic schools accredited by one of the approved accrediting constituent members of the Virginia Council for Private Education shall be given recognition for all grade-level work completed.  The academic record of students transferring from all other schools shall be evaluated to determine appropriate grade placement in accordance with policies adopted by the local school board….  (8VAC20-131-60.A)

…A secondary school shall accept credits toward graduation received from Virginia nonpublic schools accredited by one of the approved accrediting constituent members of the Virginia Council for Private Education (VCPE)….  (8VAC20-131-60.D)

Section 22.1-254 of the Code of Virginia (the compulsory attendance law) provides:

Except as otherwise provided in this article, every parent, guardian, or other person in the Commonwealth having control or charge of any child who will have reached the fifth birthday on or before September 30 of any school year and who has not passed the eighteenth birthday shall, during the period of each year the public schools are in session and for the same number of days and hours per day as the public schools, send such child to a public school or to a private, denominational, or parochial school or have such child taught by a tutor or teacher of qualifications prescribed by the Board of Education and approved by the division superintendent, or provide for home instruction of such child as described in § 22.1-254.1….

Section 22.1-1 of the Code defines a person of school age to mean a person who will have reached his fifth birthday on or before September 30 of the school year and who has not reached twenty years of age on or before August 1 of the school year.

 

Section 22.1-3 of the Code provides “[t]he public schools in each school division shall be free to each person of school age who resides within the school division….”

Generally, students transferring from foreign high schools who are 18 and 19 should be counseled on all options.  However, they are still eligible for enrollment as a person of school age as provided in the Code unless they have a comparable diploma from a high school located in a foreign country.  If a receiving school division has questions about a student’s diploma or transcript, the receiving school division should research the issues to determine what kind of diploma the child has.  In addition, foreign students with special education needs may be eligible for special education and related services through age 21 if they have not graduated with a comparable diploma from a high school located in a foreign country. If a limited English proficient student is enrolled in a Virginia public school and turns 22 during the school year, that student may continue through the end of that school year.

All school divisions must comply with 34 CFR PART 110 (Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Age in Programs or Activities Receiving Federal Financial Assistance).  In addition, Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, and national origin by recipients of federal funds, and refusal by a school division to enroll qualified students on the basis of race, color, or national origin is a violation of this prohibition against discrimination.

 

You may wish to review §§ 22.1-1, 22.1-3, and 22.1-5 of the Code of Virginia for additional enrollment information.  These sections provide more details regarding requirements related to school age and residency in a school division.

 

I hope you will find this information helpful.  Please do not hesitate to contact the Office of Policy at (804) 225-2092, or by e-mail at policy@doe.virginia.gov, if you need additional information.

 

 

 

 

About Tom White

Tom is a US Navy Veteran, owns an Insurance Agency and is currently an IT Manager for a Virginia Distributor. He has been published in American Thinker, currently writes for the Richmond Examiner as well as Virginia Right! Blog.Tom lives in Hanover County, Va and is involved in politics at every level and is a Recovering Republican who has finally had enough of the War on Conservatives in progress with the Leadership of the GOP on a National Level.

4 Responses to “Could We See a Measles Outbreak in Hanover? The Scary Truth”

  1. kim Singhas says:

    Think of unvaccinated children as Vectors much like Mosquitoes are vectors for West Nile Virus.

    Unvaccinated children are measles vectors threatening the lives of infants, toddlers, pregnant women, immunocompromised pediatric patients- those patients receiving chemo and other immunosuppressant drugs.

    Herd Immunity protected those fragile in our society and now we’ve lost it.

  2. Frederick Liewehr says:

    The problem of public health vs. individual rights is always a difficult one. Unfortunately, “public health” is politicized on a regular basis. AIDS is an example of a situation where public health measures such as closing bathhouses and requiring disclosure of health status would have done a lot to reduce the spread of the disease. Neither of those measures was taken because it was not “politically incorrect”. Instead we diverted tons of research money from diseases that were not preventable to one that is. Gun control is now being advocated by many, including obama’s choice for Surgeon General, as a supposed “public health” measure. This is obviously nothing but another stealth attempt at gun control.

    In this case, advocates want to make vaccination mandatory to protect other people. Vaccination, however, is done by a very invasive procedure, namely inoculating someone with substances that we could be harmful to them. In fact they are harmful to some folks, as is any therapy. Some will in fact die due to reactions from the vaccines. There is a risk-benefit ratio to any treatment, and it should be up to a person (or his parents) to decide whether the benefit is worth the risk, not the government.

    You can argue that the government should protect us from these disease carriers, but then the government should protect us from guns or from whatever else liberals do not like as well. The overregulation and ever-diminishing freedom we face is the result of that thinking. Formerly it was said that, “A man’s house is his castle”. Not only is that no longer true, but to the liberal, now his body is not even his castle.

    Many misguided people currently think a con con will be the answer to our runaway government. The reality is that words on paper are not the answer to anything. If words could prevent misbehavior, we would have no crime, because we have already outlawed it. We can require immunizations for public school, but the government has already illegally decided that illegals can reap the benefits of citizenship without being citizens. If we made this requirement, the government could easily decide that it was “discriminating” against these poor undocumented students to require vaccination.

    The answers are difficult, but the reality is that sometimes even conservatives who would bristle at someone interfering with their rights on the Internet or their right to own a gun are all too willing to insist that the government strip others of their most basic right, that of the sanctity of their bodies. If we are comfortable with the safety and efficacy of the vaccines, then we should have ourselves and our children inoculated. That should solve the problem. The point is, labeling something a “public health” concern should not be sufficient to override our basic freedoms.

  3. Mr Green Jeans
    Twitter:
    says:

    First, the parents of Hanover County should read this very carefully. Then thank Mrs Singhas for a well documented report on just how complicit the US, the Commonwealth and Hanover County officials have been as they put your children at risk. Read the below exerpt from VA Dept of Education. Note under Homeless “In addition, division superintendents cannot exclude from school attendance those homeless children who do not provide the requisite health or immunization information required of other students.”

    Now for the grand finale. The quote from the Hanover School Board “We will follow the law of the Commonwealth” when asked “What steps will be taken to protect the children with respect to public health and safety on the matter of immunization of the homeless(illegals)?”. We report you decide.

  4. Kim Singhas says:

    I agree wholeheartedly with Dr. Liewehr. He is one of the smartest and most articulate conservative voices in the Commonwealth. I read everything he publishes and admire his convictions.

    I just want to clarify my position as I am receiving many emails telling me the government has no right to mandate vaccination, and I hear you, and I understand those opinions. However,

    I am saying if you attend PUBLIC SCHOOL in the Commonwealth of Virginia, I believe you should be vaccinated. If you don’t want to vaccinate your kids, then homeschool them. We might just find a large group of kids getting vaccinated if they can’t attend school without their shots.

    Americans have forgotten the horrible birth defects associated with Rubella.
    My own mother grew up with the generation of parents terrorized by the threat of Polio, held hostage in their homes afraid to play with other children during outbreaks. She influences my positions from her grave. I can still hear her stories.

    We have lost our Herd Immunity once enjoyed because Measles was eliminated through widespread vaccination. Those most fragile- the infants and young children too young for vaccinations as well as pregnant women are the newest victims of the selfishness of the “Occupy Big Pharma” movement in America. This debate of parental rights vs. public health is worth having.

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    Tom White Says:

    Nothing is more conservative than a republican wanting to get their majority back. And nothing is more liberal than a republican WITH a majority.

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