A group of angry parents held a news conference Wednesday after their children were sent home from class by the Los Angeles Unified School District earlier this week because they were not fully vaccinated.
The news conference was held at Thomas Starr King Middle School in the 4200 block of Fountain Avenue.
Several protesters said their children were pulled out of class on the first day of school because they hadn’t received their Tdap vaccine, which protects them from whooping cough.
As many as 100 students were removed from their classrooms and told to call their parents, according to protesters.
“The problem that I had with the way that it was handled yesterday is that they removed the children from class and sent them to the auditorium for missing one vaccine, and I feel that’s kind of a violation of their privacy because my daughter’s teachers and her friends, nobody, needs to know her health history. That’s her private information, that’s information between myself, her pediatrician and possibly the school’s records office,” one mother said.
“These children that were pulled out already had a personal beliefs exemption on file, and the school still decided to pull them out from their classes and have them call their parents, and ask them for proof of vaccination or to come and pick them up from school,” parent Martha Jaureguy said.
According to LAUSD, current state law requires all students to have the Tdap vaccine, unless their parents file for a personal beliefs or medical exemption.
The LAUSD released the following statement Wednesday: “With regard to a small number of parents and guardians who have concerns about their unvaccinated children being kept out of class, the District is working to ensure that all schools have resolved this issue and that all students with exemptions have returned to class.”
It turns out some of the children pulled out of class had valid exemptions but their records had not been updated. However, LAUSD explains that under a new state law taking effect next July, personal and religious exemptions will no longer be allowed for the Tdap immunization. LAUSD officials say medical exemptions will continue to be permitted.