The first day of school will be remembered for all the wrong reasons by 145 California children in the Folsom Cordova Unified School district, who arrived on the much-anticipated day only to be turned away because they lacked the proper immunization records.
The move is part of a new state law that went into effect last month, SB277, that removed vaccine exemptions based on personal and religious beliefs. Under the law, students who are entering “checkpoint years” – kindergarten and seventh grade – are required to provide their full vaccination records. Of the district’s 1,462 students in these grades, 157 had been singled out by the school as not having vaccine records.
The district’s spokesperson, Daniel Thigpen, said that they were hoping that the students who were sent home would get their shots and return to school. By the end of the first week, 98 students were still out of school, with 37 of the 72 kindergartners and 61 of the 73 seventh-graders opting not to succumb to the state’s bullying tactics.