New York’s controversial new vaccine law bars students from attending public or private schools in New York if their parents have, for religious reasons, opted not to vaccinate them. Syracuse.com summarizes the law as follows: “[Unvaccinated students] must be kicked out of school unless they get their first shot within the first 14 days of school and can document within the first 30 days of school they have appointments for follow-up doses. Schools face fines of up to $2,000 per student admitted in violation of the law.” The law has placed parents with religious objections to vaccination in a bind. Regarding their children’s education, those parents now have the following options: Homeschool their children; vaccinate their children despite their religious objections to the practice; or move to a state that allows parents to opt out of vaccinating their kids based on religious objections.
The law has also negatively impacted Christian schools. According to Syracuse.com, Oswego Community Christian School lost 10% of its students this year because of the vaccine law. The school called the enrollment decrease “devastating” for its finances; it was forced to eliminate two teacher aide positions to save money. Other small Christian schools around the state could be similarly affected, as approximately 26,000 students in New York have lost their exemptions from vaccination.
Now, all eyes are on a case that was heard by Judge Robert Wiggins in a Steuben County courtroom Monday (09/30/2019). It revolves around two Corning Christian Academy students who are not allowed to return to the classroom due to the removal of the religious exemption from vaccinations. Plaintiffs are seeking an immediate and statewide stay of the state’s new vaccination law. A decision is expected quickly.