Kentucky teen who refuses to get the chickenpox vaccine SUES his school
A Kentucky teenager who refuses to get the chickenpox vaccine on religious grounds is suing his school for barring him from basketball practice.
Jerome Kunkel, an 18-year-old senior and basketball captain at a Catholic school in Walton, objects to vaccines because he believes they ‘contain aborted fetal cells’.
But his stance means he is automatically banned from completing his final term of classes and extracurricular activities at Our Lady of the Sacred Heart/Assumption Academy amid an outbreak affecting 32 people.
The Northern Kentucky Health Department announced last week that all students who are not vaccinated are not allowed to attend school ‘ntil 21 days after the onset of rash for the last ill student or staff member.’
Jerome Kunkel is an 18-year-old senior and basketball captain at a Catholic school in Walton. He objects to vaccines because he believes they ‘contain aborted fetal cells’. His stance means he is banned from completing his final term of classes and extracurricular activities at Our Lady of the Sacred Heart/Assumption Academy (file image)
Kunkel’s lawyer said he has been contacted by the families of 18 other kids in similar situations
Kunkel fumed: ‘The fact that I can’t finish my senior year of basketball, like our last couple games is pretty devastating. I mean you go through four years of high school, playing basketball, but you look forward to your senior year,’ CNN reported.
Students in Kentucky are legally allowed to skip vaccines on religious grounds if they provide a sworn statement, as Kunkel did last year.
However, the school insists that does not mean the kids have a right to be on public grounds.
Chickenpox is highly infectious, but those who have the Varicella vaccine are immunized against it.
Kunkel’s lawyer said he has been contacted by the families of 18 other kids in similar situations.
It’s not clear if the other teens share Kunkel’s incorrect belief that vaccines are made from aborted fetuses.
Vaccines are not made from aborted fetal cells, despite it being a widely-spread conspiracy theory online.
Experts say this incorrect theory is a major driver fueling the measles outbreak in Washington state’s Russian-speaking community.
The Health Department responded to the lawsuit: ‘The recent actions taken by the Northern Kentucky Health Department regarding the chickenpox outbreak at Our Lady of the Sacred Heart/Assumption Academy was in direct response to a public health threat and was an appropriate and necessary response to prevent further spread of this contagious illness.’