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1/27/2010 10:23:31 AM
Home School Legal Defense Association
Colorado: Calls Needed to Ensure Parents are Informed of Immunization Exemptions

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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January 27, 2010

Colorado: Calls Needed to Ensure Parents
are Informed of Immunization Exemptions

Dear HSLDA Members and Friends:

Representative Jim Riesberg and Senator Betty Boyd recently introduced
Senate Bill 10-056, which requires public schools to annually provide
parents with a paper or email copy of all state-required
immunizations. The document may also include a list of recommended
immunizations.

Currently, the bill does not require the schools to notify parents
that they have a legal right to exempt their children from
immunizations (subject to certain conditions). We are asking that the
sponsors introduce an amendment that includes Colorado's current
statutory language regarding available exemptions (found in Colorado
Rev. Stat. 25-4-903). We understand that Rep. Riesberg is willing to
add the language; thus, we are asking you to contact him to express
your support for the exemption amendment.

ACTION NEEDED:

1. Call Rep. Riesberg's office at (303) 866-2929, and ask to speak to
Crystal or Rep. Riesberg. In your own words, express the following
message:

"I am calling to ask that language be added to Senate Bill 10-056 to
require that schools inform parents of their right to exempt their
children from immunizations based on medical condition or religious or
personal beliefs, as already allowed in Colorado Revised Statutes
25-4-903."

2. Follow up with an email to Rep. Riesberg reiterating what was said
on the phone at jimriesberg.house@state.co.us .

There is no need to identify yourself as a homeschooler as this bill
affects all parents in the state.

BACKGROUND:

The standardized form described in the bill includes a list of
immunizations required for enrollment in a public school and at what
age each immunization is required. The bill does not include exemption
information on the standardized form for those who choose not to
immunize. An amendment may be necessary to require exemption
information to be stated on the form.

The statute allowing for immunization exemptions is below:

25-4-903. Exemptions from immunization.

(Deleted by amendment, L. 97, p. 409, sec. 2, effective July 1, 1997.)

It is the responsibility of the parent or legal guardian to have his
or her child immunized unless the child is exempted pursuant to this
section. A student shall be exempted from receiving the required
immunizations in the following manner:

By submitting to the student's school certification from a licensed
physician or advanced practice nurse that the physical condition of
the student is such that one or more specified immunizations would
endanger his or her life or health or is medically contraindicated due
to other medical conditions; or

By submitting to the student's school a statement of exemption signed
by one parent or guardian or the emancipated student or student
eighteen years of age or older that the parent, guardian, or student
is an adherent to a religious belief whose teachings are opposed to
immunizations or that the parent or guardian or the emancipated
student or student eighteen years of age or older has a personal
belief that is opposed to immunizations.

The state board of health may provide, by regulation, for further
exemptions to immunization based upon sound medical practice.

All information distributed to parents by school districts regarding
immunization shall inform them of their rights under subsection (2) of
this section.

For more information about this bill, go to
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=7576 .

Thank you for your commitment to defending freedom and family!

Very truly yours,

Michael P. Donnelly
HSLDA Staff Attorney

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