Please take action to protect your right to a religious exemption from vaccine mandates, and your child's right to attend public school. Click on the Take Action Link above to send messages to your New York State Senator and Assemblymember asking them to co-sponsor S6141d in the Senate and A8123a in the Assembly. The bills require the use of a standard statewide religious exemption application form, and when it is completed a religious exemption will be issued, just like is currently done in 46 other states, and children will be allowed to attend public school regardless of their vaccination status.
No more children getting kicked out of school, no questions will be asked, no multi-hour interrogations will be allowed, clergy will not be contacted, people will not be forced to discuss their most intimate religious beliefs with a public school employee, children will not be barred from getting an education.
There are fewer than 40 out of the 700 plus public school districts in New York that force people to defend their religious beliefs, unfortunately New York City is one of those districts, where more than a third of the state's students live. And the number of diffcult districts is growing.
Forty-seven states allow religious exemptions. All of them, except New York, allow automatic religious exemptions upon completion of a standard form, or submitting a letter. New York is the ONLY state that forces people to defend their religious beliefs, and allows school districts to deny an application.
In Connecticut, Vermont and Pennsylvania parents fill out a standard form, like in 26 other states, and they automatically get an exemption. In New Jersey, like 20 other states, parents simply write a letter and they get their religious exemption.
And just because your school district currently does not harass applicants doesn't mean they won't in the future. All it requires is a new Superintendent, new members of a school board, sometimes just a new school nurse can lead to a complete change in policy.
And those school districts engage in a wide range of abusive practices:
New York City enforces an illegal 1.2% quota on all types of exemptions.
Some school districts interrogate parents for hours about their religious beliefs, health practices, interpretation of scripture, prayer practices and other topics no public employee has any business discussing.
Parents will have an exemption in one school district but then they move and the new school district denies an exemption
Some families with children in different schools will be allowed an exemption at one school, but not another school where a sibling attends.
NYC is notorious for allowing an exemption at one school and then withdrawing the exemption when the student moves on to kindergarten, middle school or high school.
This law will have no effect on public health. Remember, 46 states already have this right, and have always had this right. It is time for New York to get out of the religious inquisition business and allow all children to attend school
Please share this message with friends and family, and please post to social networks.