Parents argue federal lawsuit for barring unvaccinated kids from school

Posted: Updated:

A group of Rockland County parents have filed a federal lawsuit to get their children back in class.

Parents from a Chestnut Ridge school will be in federal court in White Plains today to argue their suit against the Rockland County Department of Health and its commissioner. They say their children were barred from going to school because they hadn’t been vaccinated against the measles virus.

A group of students at the Green Meadow Waldorf School in Chestnut Ridge have not been allowed in class since December.
"We were mandated to exclude our non-vaccinated or under vaccinated students," says TreAnne Mcenery, administrator at the Green Meadow Waldorf School.

That mandate came from the Rockland County Health Department as health officials tried to stop a measles outbreak that has now infected 145 people.
School administrators say they've been doing everything they can to keep the students who are not allowed in class updated with their school work. They say just under 20 percent of their students are out of class and have been for more than three months.

"Under better days, they would be at school, they would be learning with their peers and it would be terrific, but we have an outbreak of a deadly disease," says Rockland County Attorney Tom Humbach.

But a group of 20 parents are now suing Rockland County to allow their unvaccinated children to go back to class. Part of their lawsuit claims that "There is no evidence that the children and their families now challenging this exclusion order are in contact with those who carry the measles virus." 

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