The War on Shots: What Have Schools Done?

School rules for everything but the health of students

Child Vaccination

Cera Sylar

We live in a society where it’s against the rules to chew gum in class. However, it’s completely acceptable to not get vaccinated for infectious diseases and sit right next to that gum-chewing delinquent, going unpunished. The “War on Shots” continues to gain national attention—an ethical and moral dilemma of ignorance, putting our nation’s children at risk for catching an easily avoidable case of the plague. As opposition towards conscientious objectors continues to rise, schools have done close to nothing to ensure the health and safety of millions of students. Instead, they choose to focus on petty policies made for the sake of making rules and causing anger.

Many of the most dangerous diseases are taken care of with vaccinations at a very young age. Most should have been vaccinated before entering kindergarten. According to the Department of Health, in the 2013-2014 school year, the average rate of unvaccinated Minnesota Kindergarteners for MMR (Measles, Mumps, and Rubella) is 2.8% among conscientious objectors. While this may not appear to be a strikingly large number, it is still nevertheless a health threat to even those vaccinated. So what are schools doing?

According to the Department of Health, in the 2013-2014 school year, the average rate of unvaccinated Minnesota Kindergarteners for MMR (Measles, Mumps, and Rubella) is 2.8% among conscientious objectors.

Minneapolis Public Schools has a five-tiered discipline chart ranging from swearing at a classmate to bringing a weapon to school. But where does not being vaccinated and bringing in potentially deadly infectious diseases fall? That would be level zero. In fact, schools do not have the ability to enforce immunization laws.

We could get rid of a disease here. It’s been done successfully before. Remember the polio scare? Everyone was required to get the vaccine and what do you know? We eradicated it. No questions asked. Sure, some may argue that vaccines don’t guarantee one-hundred percent that no one will get sick. But if more people are vaccinated, the protection will be all the more effective. Unfortunately, instead of joining the cause to help quell the spread of measles, schools are using their authority to keep hats off of students heads.

Unfortunately, instead of joining the cause to help quell the spread of measles, schools are using their authority to keep hats off of students heads.

So who is the bad guy here? Is it the kid who always has headphones in, hat on, and is chewing gum? Or is it the parent who won’t protect their children from dangerous diseases, putting themselves, and society in danger? We may never know. For now though, it’s completely legal, albeit socially, acceptable to attend school un-vaccinated, but heaven forbid you call someone “stupid.”