The little one can't be vaccinated; his immune system is too weakened by the cancer treatments. Should he become ill, the consequences could be grave. The school has a No Peanuts policy because "some children could die" but refuses to consider a requirement for vaccinations. Though the school nurse was careful to insure that all his classmates had received the vaccine, that doesn't protect him at recess or assembly or on the playground, waiting for school to start.
It's personal for me. I was president of that school board. We brought great changes to that district, not the least of which was not rehiring a long-time superintendent, and we paid a heavy emotional price for doing so. There are still people who won't speak to me.
We knew we were in the right. My file of faxes (this was before the internet made communications instantaneous) reminds me of the vitriol which came our way. A great many well educated people took us to task, blithely ignoring the fact that we had information which they did not. I could understand their frustration, but personnel issues belong to the employee; the Board was forbidden to speak on the subject in public.
Without our data, it was easy to see how those who loved her could assume that we were acting out of spite. She'd been there forever; why couldn't we let well enough alone for eighteen months until she retired gracefully? My response was two fold: "those eighteen months are some child's first and second grades, I was elected to be sure that they are outstanding years"; and "we know things which you do not."
It made no difference to many; people were entrenched in their positions. Others were able, after much time and energy, to come to the conclusion that when people you respect act in ways which seem incongruous, it behooves one to wonder if, perhaps, they are operating with more information than is generally available. With that respect must come the concomitant belief that their actions, while surprising, come from a place of caring, where the needs of the many outweigh the fears of the few.
It's time for that school board to remember that, I think.
This will not turn into a rant about vaccines. The bad science underlying the current wave of unimmunized children has been well documented. The parents who are making these decisions grew up in an era where they and their schoolmates were receiving new technology - vaccines for chicken pox and measles and mumps and rubella. They knew no one who suffered.
Now, as parents themselves, they are .... I just don't know. Are they trying to look smart, claiming to have read up on the issue and made an informed choice? Are they seeking a cause celebre? Are they trying to set themselves apart from the rest? Can they really be so misinformed?
Are they eschewing the polio vaccine as well?
It's impossible to argue with a zealot. I've tried and failed. They know what they know and, there's no talking to them. Listen to this cardiologist from Arizona, telling the world that his children are not polluted by vaccines, that they are pure. He is looking forward to the time when they have the opportunity to contract a childhood disease.
I can understand the paleo diet, but paleo medical care? Seriously?
We are all part of the herd. We share this planet. We are responsible for one another.
My granddaughter shouldn't be put at risk simply because she is too young for the vaccine and others are not accepting their responsibilities to society. I wonder if these parents ever consider the social contract. Do they honestly believe that they exist in an island?
The father of the 7 year old makes this point :
"If you choose not to immunize your own child and your own child dies because they get measles, OK, that's your responsibility, that's your choice. But if your child gets sick and gets my child sick and my child dies, then ... your action has harmed my child."Or, how about this: Your right to make a fist ends at the tip of my nose.
Here is a link to a graphic explanation of vaccines and the current controversy. Thanks to John E Simpson for the connection.