What could possibly be behind these forced vaccinations? There are several factors that could be at play, but the primary suspicion that stands out in my mind is money. So I called the communications department of the Prince George's County School District to ask them specifically some questions about the amount of money the school district gets paid per child per day. They have not returned my call to answer the questions. Thankfully, the National Center for Education Statistics has some great information about Prince George's County Public Schools online available to the public to anyone with an internet connection! (http://nces.ed.gov)
According to this government website, in the 2006-2007 school year, Prince George's County Public Schools received $11,325 per student per year! That is more than I pay for my kid's private school tuition! The breakdown was 7% from federal money or $780, 46% from the state at $5246, and 47% from local revenue at $5298. Assuming a typical 180 day school year, that comes out to $63 per child per day of school attended.
Why is this important information? If the Washington Post article is correct when they said that 2300 kids are being barred from school, all of a sudden $63 per student per day turns into an astronomical loss of $144,900 PER DAY for the school district. That would light a fire under anyone's backside to stop that hemorrhaging of loss of income, but it does not justify the way these families are being treated.
The take home message we'd like to send to the zealots in Maryland is please don't patronize parents and tell them this about health, and don't bully and scare them. Tell them the truth. Tell them you are desperate for the money in order to educate their kids. In order for the money and education to happen, the kids have to be in school and have their paperwork in order. Let them know about their rights to the limited exemptions available. Warn them about the real risks of the vaccines. Give them the choice they have granted by law to refuse. Let them know the chicken pox vaccine does not even work. A school in Round Rock Texas has more than 40 kids out with chickenpox even though they have all been vaccinated. Tell them that if they don't they need to contact their elected officials to stop every vaccine from coming out being tied to their child's ability to receive an education.
When Governor Rick Perry tried to force all 6th grade girls in Texas to be vaccinated with the vaccine for the sexually transmitted virus HPV, thankfully the legislature knew better and effectively vacated his executive order saving the families in Texas the ill-effects of that mandate. Coming down the pipe are vaccines for everything from obesity, smoking, and drug addiction to vaccines for more sexually transmitted diseases like HIV. If they have to use police with dogs and threaten parents with jail time to get them to vaccinate their kids for chicken pox, what do you think they will feel they need to do to get every child shot up with an HIV vaccine? What can you do in the meantime? Start by making a vow to yourself to take an active roll in making sure that people who support forced vaccination and trampling on parental rights don't get elected. Just a reminder that Glenn Ivey was elected into office in Maryland.
Dawn Richardson represents PROVE (www.VaccineInfo.net), which provides information on vaccines, and the immunization policies and practices that affect the children and adults of Texas. Our mission is to prevent vaccine injury and death and to promote and protect the right of every person to make informed independent vaccination decisions for themselves and their families.