Friday, January 30, 2009

Even when I don't agree...

No one deserves the treatment I just saw. I watched the videos on this post over at Age of Autism. It's "a ‘sincerity test’-- conducted by a school attorney when my husband and I filed a religious waiver to refuse vaccines for our boys. David Cohen, attorney for our school, wanted to make supersure that we really, really believed in God."

Now, as most of you longtime readers are aware, I am extremely opposed to non-vacc'd kids being allowed in public school. I do not feel those parents have the right to expose our kids to possible diseases. For Jaymes, if someone around him is sick, so is he and I'm not ok with the thought of an unvacc'd kid coming in and exposing him to things that he can then come home and pass on to his not yet fully vacc'd sister. I'm all for a slower vaccination rate, staggering each shot, as long as every kid gets every shot.

However, personal feelings aside, this goes way beyond the vaccination issue. This is the school hiring a lawyer to verbally and emotionally abuse these parents into submission. To question their beliefs, to question their personal spiritual thoughts and beliefs. The slimeball in this video goes so far as to try and force these parents to explain how their God speaks to them, what he says, and whether or not he told them not to vaccinate. He also repeatedly asks why, if God made man smart enough to figure out vaccination, it's so bad to use it. (I think he has a point there, but the delivery of the question was abusive and vicious.)

I understand the school system wanting to make sure these religious exemptions are truly religion based, I really do. I've had a few people (the quack chiropractor/nutritionist, a health food store employee, and a whacko fellow parent) all tell me "It doesn't matter what you believe, just tell them it's your religious belief."

That's wrong, in my opinion. Religion should not be used in such a way. It's not a convenient excuse to get away with no vaccinating. There should be a lot more to it, if it is truly sincere. If you listen to the parents on the video talk, you can tell it IS sincere. They have a true belief in god, and they are 100% sure on what they want and what they think is right. I still disagree with them and think that they need to keep their kids vacc'd or keep them at home, but I do NOT question the validity of their religious convictions.

Agree or not, no parent should ever be subjected to such insensitive, cruel, unethical treatment. No parent should have to be asked the deep, invasive questions these parents had asked of them. No parent should have to explain what goes on in a "conversation with God." Those things are private, deeply personal spirtual experiences that no one has the right to question or interrogate anyone over.

The way the parents in the video were treated turns my stomach, and that's really saying something if you know much about me. I do not believe in God, I have no religion of any kind. I think parents who don't vaccinate and expect the schools to let their kids in are being ridiculous. Those are my personal feelings on the subject. But I DO believe that everyone should be treated with respect. Just because to me, there is no God, does not mean I do not have the utmost respec for someone else's spiritual beliefs.

Shame on any person, lawyer, or school district who would treat parents in such a manner.


Rianne said...

Hello Amber,

I haven't even finished reading your blog completely but thought that I would ask if you had ever read about how Gluten can affect autistic people?

A friend of mine has a son with autism and she found that taken gluten out of his diet was like taking a drug away from an addict. He did go through major withdrawal from it and still craves it but without it in his diet he is a little calmer and interacts more. I don't know much on it but thought that it was worth mentioning incase you would like to look into it more.. or maybe you have already.

I wish you the best of luck. I can't imagine what your going through.


minivan driving soccermom said...

stumbled across your blog, sounds like we live on the same street lol.

Moonbrain Mare said...

You say un-vacced kids should be kept away from school for the sake of other kids. But if the other kids are vacced, aren't they immune to whatever diseases the un-vacced kids might be carrying?

I agree with you about everything else but I don't understand how un-vacced kids can be a menace to vaccinated children in terms of diseases. I mean the whole point of vaccination is making those diseases harmless to them. I read other people saying this and it mystifies me. It just doesn't seem logical. I guess there's always a small chance of a kid getting something even though they're vaccinated for it, but still ...

(Yes, I completely see your point about your little girl not having all her shots yet, but in that way - for the sake of argument, at least - she falls into the un-vaccinated camp, I think)

Amber DBTD said...


Jaymes has been vaccinated, but for whatever reason he did not respond to certain of the vaccs (diphtheria and tetanus are the ones I know for sure, can't remember the last one.) He has a pretty pitiful immune system, so he would still be vulnerable.

Also, what about other kids who are on a staggered vaccination schedule? They would also still be vulnerable.

You're right, technically Sierra is in the unvacc'd category. She is missing one shot, or she'd be UTD. But the difference is, we intend to have it done, and she's at home, not around other children. I'm not sitting at home while my totally unvaccinated kids are out in school or daycare.

My issue with unvaccinated kids is, even if the other kids are protected by their vaccines, those kids and they parents still suffer if the unvacc'd kids get sick.

I'm not fully vacc'd, and I also have a terrible immune system and no health coverage. If Jaymes brings home illness that an unvacc'd kid in his class has and i get it, you can bet I'd be on the phone with a lawyer expecting those parents to pay my doctors bills for an illness that wouldn't have been an issue otherwise. Docs won't give me my missed vaccs because I'm an adult for whatever reason.

Also, say a child in Jaymes class gets the measles or something- all those kids will end up having to be checked out and possibly quarantined, and that would be very stressful for a kid like Jaymes.

I suppose those are my reasons for thinking that if you're not vaccinating, and don't intend to, don't send your kids to public school. It's an opinion, lord knows I can't enforce anything 9nor do I care to!)