Anti-vaxxers lose court case in New York.

New York changed its law about immunization and public school attendance.  The law had permitted parents to obtain an exemption from the immunization requirement based on health or religious reasons.  With the change, however, only health-related reasons would be permitted.  The parents of some students with disabilities challenged the change in the law, offering a novel argument. They asserted that the change in the law violated IDEA, our federal special education law. 

The court disagreed, holding that New York’s mandatory vaccination requirement did not violate IDEA, nor was it preempted by IDEA.   The plaintiffs also asserted that the change in law effectively barred their children from school, and thus it was a “change of placement” in violation of IDEA’s stay put rule.  Nope.  Key Quote:

To the contrary, it was plaintiffs’ affirmative decision not to comply with the neutral requirement imposed by the repeal that led to an alteration of services—not any unilateral action taken on the part of the state.

This won’t happen here.  Texas still permits an exemption based on an affidavit from the parent indicating an objection to immunization “for reasons of conscience, including a religious belief.”  Texas Education Code 38.001(c)(1)(B).

The case is V.D. v. State of New York, decided by the federal court for the Eastern District of New York on August 19, 2019. We found it at 74 IDELR 279.


Tomorrow: Have you ever had a TINA?