Orange County says special ed students must comply with vaccination law

Sep 24, 2015 by

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By Jane Meredith Adams –

In Orange County, home to the Disneyland measles outbreak that spread to seven other states and fueled a strict California vaccination law this year, attorneys for the Orange County Department of Education have stated that the new vaccination requirements apply equally to special education students, a group that some thought would be exempt because of their federally protected right to educational services.

In a memo issued last month, the Orange County Department of Education has advised its 28 school districts that students in special education must comply with the law, which as of July 1, 2016, gives students who are due to be vaccinated three options: obtain a medical exemption to the required vaccinations, enroll in homeschooling or independent study, or be vaccinated before attending school. The law removed, as of Jan. 1, 2016, the ability of parents to refuse to vaccinate their children in public and private school because of personal opposition.

“The law doesn’t say they are exempt,” said Ronald Wenkart, general counsel for the Orange County Department of Education and the author of the memo. If the lawmakers who drafted the legislation had wanted to exempt special education students, “they could have put an exemption in there,” he said.

Source: Orange County says special ed students must comply with vaccination law | EdSource

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