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Court Rules Schools' Vaccination Requirements Trump Parents' Religious Exemption

Federal
State:
Key point. Restrictions imposed by state law on unvaccinated children attending public schools may not violate parents' constitutional right of religious freedom.

A federal appeals court ruled that the constitutional right of parents to the free exercise of their religion was not violated by a state law excluding unvaccinated children from public schools under specified circumstances. New York requires that students in the state's public schools be immunized against various vaccine-preventable illnesses. The New York Public Health Law provides that "no principal, teacher, owner or person in charge of a school shall permit any child to be admitted to such school, or to attend such school, in excess of fourteen days" without a certificate of immunization. The statute provides two exemptions from the immunization mandate. First, a medical exemption is available "if any physician licensed to ...

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Posted:
  • April 21, 2016

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