November 6, 2019
DENVER— The Colorado Sun and Fox31 ran stories about Littleton, Boulder Valley, and Brighton school districts making plans to exclude students who are non-compliant with Colorado’s immunization laws, unfortunately neither media outlet emphasized that parents who choose not to vaccinate their children simply need to submit a written statement of exemption to their child’s school.
It is estimated that only 2.3-3.5% of Colorado’s school age children utilize exemptions for religious, medical or philosophical reasons. Unfortunately, according to statistics obtained from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment many school districts fail to follow up with parents to obtain records of their children’s vaccinations or their exemptions. This non-compliance makes Colorado appear as if their kindergarten immunization rate is one of the lowest in the nation, when in fact Colorado’s immunization rate is likely 95-97%, well above herd immunity levels.
Littleton, Boulder Valley, and Brighton school districts are trying to improve their immunization rates by excluding students whose parents have not turned in their children’s immunization records or their written statements of exemption, unfortunately some of the schools in these districts have told parents who seek exemptions they must sign a state form, this is untrue. Colorado immunization laws allow parents to submit a written statement of exemption, no where in the law are parents required to use a state form. Regrettably some parents have signed a state form as a result of this misrepresentation; these parents need to be aware they can file a FERPA complaint against their school district, which may result in a $25,000 fine for sharing private medical records with the state. And it should also be noted that teachers have the right to exempt from any vaccine and if their employers did not notify them of this option, they may want to contact their teacher union and file a grievance or file a complaint with their district’s legal office.
Notes to Editor:
- Colorado’s Immunization Exemption Laws: https://codes.findlaw.com/co/title-25-health/co-rev-st-sect-25-4-903.html
- How Parents Can File a FERPA Violation: https://studentprivacy.ed.gov/file-a-complaint
About Colorado Health Choice Alliance
Colorado Health Choice Alliance is a non-profit organization dedicated to protecting the rights of Coloradan families to live healthy lives without government intervention in medical choices. We believe each parent and individual should have complete medical freedom to make informed decisions on whether to vaccinate. We believe vaccinations can cause irreparable harm in adults and children, and we encourage each family to learn the risks and make a conscious choice on what is best for them and their children.
For Immediate Release