WEST ALEXANDRIA — During the Twin Valley Community Local Schools Board of Education meeting on Monday, Aug. 26, Laura Adams, with Ohio Advocates for Medical Freedom, presented information about vaccine requirement documentation and requested the board change the wording used to include exemptions.
Adams also spoke at last month’s Board of Education meeting with the same plea.
On Monday, she said, “I [have reviewed] all of the forms available on the website and from the office regarding vaccinations. I found some things I think we need to look at changing and/or upgrading. The first thing I wanted to go over is the forms that were updated, I think the 2016/2017 school year, for the new vaccination requirements for seventh grade and 12th grade.
“Any of these forms that are saying a certain amount of shots or certain shots are required to attend school are incorrect according to State Law. OR 3313.671 is the Ohio Revised Code that states there are exemptions. In Ohio, we have three exemptions: Religious, Philosophical, and Medical Exemptions. On top of that, we also have the fact that if a parent or a doctor writes a note saying a child has had the previous illnesses for the things you’re saying they need vaccinated for, they’re also exempt under that as well.
“What we are running into here, there are a lot of parents who don’t want to vaccinate for certain things or at all, they aren’t aware they have exemptions. They are vaccinating their kids because they feel they have to.”
She added, she edited the existing forms to show how they “should” look and provided those to the board. She said, the forms should state that either the shots are required or a medical exemption form must be provided.
She also provided the board with documentation on a proposed law that is currently going through the Ohio House of Representatives. According to Adams, this law would require schools to inform their parents of exemptions in the same manner they request vaccination proof.
“I receive a lot of messages from parents asking why they are not told this from the district, why they are not aware they have exemptions available. I would like to see the district go ahead and implement the very small changes of saying, ‘Or a signed exemption form’ on all of these documents that are on the website and given to parents,” she said.
“If we are not letting parents know they have these rights, it is going to be easier for the State to take these rights away. There are going to be a lot of students — like my son — that are not going to be allowed to come to school any more. That is going to effect the district as a whole.”
She added, the current exemption form used has “several flaws,” including a typo stating the Ohio Revised Code number. The school is also asking parents who choose “Religious Exemption” to list their denomination of their religion, which Adams claims is against constitutional law.
She provided the board with “State approved exemption forms” for their review and reiterated her request for the wording change.
Reach Kelsey Kimbler at 937-683-4061 or on Twitter @KKimbler_RH