All parents want what is best for their children, but sometimes those desires do not line up with what is required by law or what is expected by society at large. One issue that can cause a great deal of controversy is parents’ decisions about the vaccinations that children receive. Regardless of your individual beliefs on this issue, the law currently allows for religious exemptions in a school setting. However, even if parents have a legitimate reason for why their child should not receive certain immunizations, they may face a variety of legal issues related to the child’s enrollment in both public and private schools. Recently, some private schools have stated that they will no longer accept religious exemptions to immunization requirements, and pending legislation in Illinois may make it more difficult to obtain religious exemptions for vaccinations by placing additional restrictions and requirements on parents.
If your child has been denied enrollment in a public school, private institution, or daycare facility because of issues related to vaccinations, the school law attorneys of Mirabella, Kincaid, Frederick & Mirabella, LLC can help you understand your legal options. We will work with you to protect your right to a religious exemption to immunizations, and we will help you determine how to respond to any actions taken by a school in response to your decisions regarding what is best for your child. Whether you want to ensure that you have taken the proper steps when enrolling your child or need to address the denial of school enrollment for your child, we can offer the legal help you need. Contact us today at 630-665-7300 to schedule a consultation.
Under the Illinois School Code (105 ILCS 5/27-8.1), parents who object to the immunization requirements for their children may file a Certificate of Religious Exemption when enrolling children in school. This form will detail the specific religious reasons they are making an objection and the vaccinations they have chosen not to administer to the child.
A Certificate must also be signed by an authorized healthcare provider. This signature does not indicate that a doctor has agreed with the parents’ reasons not to vaccinate a child, but it will note that the doctor has provided the parents with education regarding the benefits of immunization and the risks that foregoing vaccinations may present to the child and the community.
The decision about whether to enroll a child who has not received the proper immunizations will be made by the “local school authority,” which may be a public school admissions office or the admissions committee of a private school.
This authority will determine whether the exemption is being requested because of valid religious objections. A school may also exclude a child from attendance if there is an outbreak of a disease for which the child has not been immunized.
At Mirabella, Kincaid, Frederick & Mirabella, LLC, we can help you understand your rights and requirements regarding religious exemptions to immunizations. Whether you want to make sure your religious objections are submitted correctly or need to address the denial of enrollment for your child, we will work to protect your child’s best interests. Contact us at 630-665-7300 to schedule a consultation with our attorneys. We assist parents with school and vaccination law matters in Downers Grove, Hinsdale, Clarendon Hills, Western Springs, and throughout DuPage County and the surrounding areas.