Kids Safety Network

Student Who Refused Chickenpox Vaccine Sues Health Department For Banning Him From School

A student from Northern Kentucky has sued the local health department after he was banned from school or play sports because he hasn’t received the chickenpox vaccine amid an outbreak at the school.

18-Year-Old Jerome Kunkel, is suing the Northern Kentucky Health Department as the department said students who haven’t been vaccinated need to stay out of school until 3 weeks after the onset of a chickenpox rash on the last sick student or teacher, the department said.

However, the teens father said the family’s Christian faith keeps his son from getting vaccinated.

“I don’t believe in that vaccine at all and they are trying to push it on us,” Bill Kunkle said, according to WLWT.

The health department announced the policy Feb. 21 in a letter to parents, citing an outbreak of chickenpox at the school.

Department Issued A Warning To Parents

The department first issued the warning to parents of the outbreak on February 5th, urging them to get their children vaccinated.

According to the health department, by March 14, the school had 32 cases of confirmed chickenpox .

The health department said in a statement in response to Kunkel’s lawsuit:

“The recent actions taken by the Northern Kentucky Health Department regarding the chickenpox outbreak at Our Lady of the Sacred Heart/Assumption Academy was in direct response to a public health threat and was an appropriate and necessary response to prevent further spread of this contagious illness,”

Sporting events at the school were also postponed until the 21 days after the last student or teacher presents a rash.


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