There are two letters coming from schools that a parent dreads to receive. The first one is about lice infestation, the second one is about expulsion.
I’ve become accustomed to receiving the lice one. I probably get it once a month. Lice is a serious problem in our schools but I found this fantastic product called “lice free spray”, available in the States only, that is non-toxic and so gentle that you can use it every day as a preventative measure. It does a pretty good job keeping the nasty critters at bay.
The letter about expulsion is one I have not received often. But last week, the Health Unit sent one to me, and to thousands of other parents.
I have, in the past, received requests to prove my children’s vaccination and I always was able to call , explain my situation and get the Unit off my back… Till the next request. But I had never received a letter giving me a definite date as to when my children would be turned away if I did not comply.
I do vaccinate my children. But I do sit on the fence as to what benefit they really offer. My son Mateo’s records got lost in the move from Quebec to Ontario, and as the Quebec clinic destroys the records after 5 years, I faced an issue when asked to provide proof of vaccination, and I refused to re-vaccinate my son for early childhood diseases.
Again, I got on the phone with the health unit who informed me that I could fill an affidavit stating that “The requirements of the Immunization of School Pupils Act conflict with my sincerely held convictions based on my religion or conscience”, have it signed by a Commissioner and I’d be all set. “But that’s not why I’m doing it,” I said. “You want me to lie?”
I was informed that the only way to keep my son in school other than getting a test done to show immunity, which would not cover the entire range of vaccines requested, was to fill said affidavit. I was also strongly reminded that in the event of an outbreak, my son would have to stay home indefinitely, “for his protection”
So affidavit it is.
But I wonder. If the Health Unit allows non-inoculated children to stay in school anyway, with a simple statement from their parents, why send the strongly worded letter in the first place? Shouldn’t they just keep a list of all the kids who were not vaccinated at registration–they obviously have one– and IF there is an outbreak, then expel them or ask them to produce the records?
I personally don’t get what this extra step accomplishes.
Right now, if there’s an epidemic, my son would be asked to stay home. After I send my affidavit, if there’s an epidemic, my son will be asked to stay home. Same result, but with a whole lot of micromanaging and bureaucracy in between.
Seems stress-fully superfluous to me.