After weighing the pros and cons, my husband and I have decided to send our son to public elementary school. It was a hard decision, but after much research, interviews with the school staff and a tour of the facilities, we were convinced that he needed the structure as well as the social skills this kind of environment can provide.
Here is our dilemma...Because we have been home schooling, we have opted not to have our son vaccinated. Is it truly an option to be exempt from vaccines and still attend public school? And if so, what does that process look like?
To Vaccinate or not to Vaccinate
Dear To/Not Vaccinate,
Congratulations to you and your husband for researching and making this decision together! You may have some difficult times the first year of letting your son go, so knowing that this decision was made by the both of you will eliminate any resentment or pointing fingers.
Is it truly an option to be exempt from vaccines and still attend public school? Yes and No.
Yes, you may request an exemption form from the Texas State Health Department in Austin by calling 1-888-963-7111 and asking for the Immunization Division or you may request a consent online @ www.immunizetexas.com. The exemption form must be filled out by a) a physician stating that the vaccine(s) required pose a threat to the health and well-being of the child or b) a parent/guardian for reasons of conscience, including religious belief. The physician's request must be updated every year and the parent/guardian request must be updated every two years. Forms must be notarized and returned back to the State. If the request has been approved, then you would present the original form to the school in which your child will attend. Sound easy?
Something to think about...because you have opted not to vaccinate; by law, if an outbreak of let's say...chicken pox has been alerted in your child's class, your child must be excluded from attending school until the outbreak has cleared. This law is in place not only to protect your child who has not recieved the anti-bodies against certain diseases but also to protect the children whom have been immunized. With that said, exclusion from school is solely at the Parent's expense. Meaning, the State is not responsible for providing or paying for day care or time loss from work during such an exclusion period.
To/Not to immunize is a choice and we are lucky to live in a country where we can freely make decisions for our families. Do your homework! Educate yourself, research, ask questions! Do what is best for your family and make a decision together!
•Aug. 20th @ Blanco Middle School for school age children only from 9:30-3:00pm (walk-ins o.k.)
•Every first Wed. @ Trinity Lutheran Church for all ages from 9:30-3:00pm by appt. please call The Tx. Dept. of State Health Services 830-693-8424