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Dachel News Update: Red Tape

Interview with W VA Valedictorian On Her Punishment for Stance Against Mandatory Vaccination

OH graduationBy Anne Dachel

In May, I found the news reports about a young woman, Olivia Hudok, who stood up to officials and refused two vaccinations required for school in West Virginia, a state that does not allow for a either a religious or personal belief exemption.  (Only a medical exemption is allowed in West Virginia.) 
 
May 24, 2013, San Francisco Chronicle

May 24, 2013, TheIntermountain.com: Hudok to graduate with class
 
As a result, Olivia was barred from attending school starting in September, 2012, which meant she missed her senior year at the high school. 
 
I was intrigued by what I read in The Intermountain:
 
"Olivia Hudok, the class valedictorian, was told last Sept. 7 by Randolph County school officials that she could no longer attend classes without proof of vaccination. She and her father, Phil, took the issue to court, and on Sept. 28 Circuit Judge Jaymie Godwin Wilfong ordered that the school system must still provide homebound educational services for Hudok.
 
"The Hudoks told The Inter-Mountain earlier this week that Olivia planned to attend the Pickens graduation ceremony Saturday. On Thursday, Interim Superintendent of Randolph County Schools Terry George announced Olivia will be allowed to take part in the commencement exercises."
 
Judge Jaymie Godwin Wilfong, the judge who told the district that they had to provide Olivia with educational services during the time she was excluded from school, was the commencement speaker at her graduation in May.
 
I contacted Olivia and she agreed to answer questions about her actions and how she was treated.
 
Q: The Intermountain.com story said that you had refused two mandated vaccinations and that you subsequently had been been banned from school since Sept, 2012 because of your non-compliance.  Why did officials take such drastic actions?

Olivia: Starting in the 2012-2013 school year, the Department of Health and Human Resources stated that two vaccinations (tDap and Meningitis) were required for students beginning 7th and 12th grades.

I received two memos in September.  One from the Randolph-Elkins Health Department stating that I must be refused admission to Pickens School because I had not shown proof of the two vaccines required by law for school entry to 12th grade.  The other memo was on a Friday from County Superintendent Dr. Phares, threatening physical removal the following Monday for trespass at the high school today if I came, due to vaccination non-compliance.

My attorney believed that what the health department claimed was law, in fact, was not law at all.   The DHHR failed to get legislative approval for their new vaccination requirements as prescribed by the law. Instead, the health department claimed interpretive rule.

Considering that every state in the United States allows a religious exemption except California (which does include a religious objection in their philosophical exemption), and Mississippi, residents of West Virginia seem to be denied their basic First Amendment rights when it comes to vaccinations.  What do you hope your actions will lead to?

Olivia: Hopefully the legislature will pass a religious freedom act in the upcoming legislative session so that people like me with religious convictions have a law protecting them against vaccinations and other related issues.  A religious freedom act would protect the responsibility of parents to make decisions in raising their children, as they are entrusted by God.

I hope that I have set precedence for those that they can stand up for what they know is right, even if they are the only ones.


Q. Why did Circuit Judge Jaymie Godwin Wilfong have to order the school district to provide OH With Judge Wilfong homebound educational services for you?

Olivia: The attorneys for the DHHR (Department of Health and Human Resources) and the county school board questioned whether I should be able to receive an education through the public school system.

Chapter 16 of the WV Constitution does provide for preventing enrollment but does not provide for expulsion for vaccination non-compliance.  Therefore, they could not prevent me from receiving a high school education. 

Q. How did your friends and others react to your stand against forced vaccination?

Olivia: I am very blessed to have supportive friends and family.  They were all understanding of my conviction and were very supportive in my case.  An 11th grade friend of mine said that she was thankful that I was standing against the mandatory vaccinations because she would be required to take them the following year. 

Through television, radio, and newspaper interviews, I found that there are others like me.  I am also thankful for the fair media coverage that I received.

Q. On May 25 you were allowed to attend your graduation where you gave a speech as valedictorian. What was the subject of your talk?

  SEE OLIVIA'S VALEDICTORY SPEECH

Q. Judge Wilfong gave the commencement address at your graduation.  What did she talk about?
Olivia: She said that she wasn't going to deliver the traditional commencement speech about us graduates following our dreams because she figured we knew that already.

Instead, she concentrated on ten points of advice and thoughts that she had found to be practical in her own life.  Some of these were-that we will only be young once, and that the older we get, the faster time goes; that we are all given a special set of gifts, so we do not need to be good at everything; that the one commonality between friends may be world and moral values; and that we must own our thoughts and be accountable for our actions.  In another point that she was making, she referenced words of mine from a previous newspaper interview by saying, "Stand up for people and things you believe in, and, to quote your valedictorian, 'even if it means standing alone'."

I found Judge Wilfong to be a very kindhearted and intelligent woman, and I was very thankful to have as good a commencement speaker as she. 

Q. Did the West Virginia Supreme Court rule on your case?

Olivia: No final ruling was made in my case before graduation. Circuit Court Judge Wilfong decided that until a pending related case in the W.Va. Supreme Court was ruled on, the county would continue my education via homebound instruction. A group called “We the Parents” is waiting for a W.Va. Supreme Court decision on the legality of interpretive rule. “We the Parents” are represented by the same attorney who represented me at the circuit court level.

Q. Considering that your actions meant you had to miss your senior year in high school, do you have any regrets?

Olivia: I was saddened that I could not physically attend my school and be with my Pickens "family" but I knew I had to make sacrifices if I wanted to stand up for what was right.  I have no regrets, and I would be willing to do it again if necessary.
 
It was inspiring to read Olivia's responses. She knew what was at stake and she didn't turn back.  Because of her actions, more people may have the courage to question vaccine mandates and stand up for individual freedom.

As for Olivia's future, she told me, "I will be attending Davis & Elkins College in WV in the fall where I will possibly major in biology in preparation for a career in physical or occupational therapy. Through this vaccination battle, I have also found a new interest in journalism, so I am considering it as well."

Comments

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Carter's Daddy

I want my daughter to do the same!

Shiny Happy Person

@Linda: "She states she "knows what is right" with the hubris of youth. Those who refuse vaccines can give diseases to expecting mothers who will then have children born with disabilities. Life expectancy has been lengthened by vaccines!"

What she "knows" is that standing up to and opposing a forced invasive medical procedure of any kind is right and just. She exhibits the courage of her convictions, more so than the hubris of her youth. From a human rights perspective, she is a shining example of integrity.

Beth

Full applause for Olivia! I am reminded of the saying "well behaved women rarely make history." Olivia has made history, and I hope that the state WVA finally gives to its citizens the basic right of health freedom or at least a religious exemption to vaccination.

As the GMO labeling movement grows and people come to realize that their vaccines are GMO too, it will become a fundamental right that people have the right to choose their own mode of health and well-being.

You are a true inspiration for standing your ground!

Heather

I appreciate youth like you...that have a true backbone. I commend your family for raising you this way...in an educated manner capable of critical thinking and decision making. You are our future hope.

Jeannette Bishop

Thank you, Olivia, and your family, for a principled and courageous stand. Our health is truly under assault in the name of healthcare today, and most have been left uneducated about what we actually know or understand about all sides of vaccination. I hope that is changing.

John Stone

Hi Bob,

Yes, but unless we consistently point out that this is contradicted by their own statements and actions we are playing into their hands. You couldn't say on the basis of their statements (wrung out of them) that vaccines cause all or most cases of autism, but we can say they have admitted that they do cause it - and they should be held to this every day. I rather took it out on you but I feel very frustrated over this - people keep on losing the opportunity. A very useful one link reference for people to use is CHS:

http://childhealthsafety.wordpress.com/2010/06/30/vaccination-causes-autism-%e2%80%93-say-us-government-merck%e2%80%99s-director-of%c2%a0vaccines/

John

Bob Moffitt

John .. I agree:

"We really must not keep on going back as if these admissions had never been made."

However, the public health mantra "we don't know what causes autism .. but .. we know its not vaccines" .. coninues unabated.

My friend, if you can somehow get public health officials to stop using that stupid statement .. I promise to stop "going back as if these admissions had never been made".

John Stone

Bob

But please do not overlook the fact that the US government have already admitted that vaccines can and do cause autism, and they would not have done it unless they had been forced to - and this stuff has been in the public domain for 5 years. We really must not keep on going back as if these admissions had never been made.

John

Bob Moffitt

@ Linda

"It has been disproved that vaccines cause autism. I know families where it is in four generations. "

Common sense dictates you cannot "rule out" anything as a "cause" .. until you KNOW what the CAUSE is.

Simply regurgitating over and over again the same senseless mantra .. "We don't know what causes autism .. but .. WE KNOW ITS NOT VACCINES" .. is not SCIENCE .. it is marketing a product.

I find it odd that you would know "families" (plural)where it is in four generations? If there were so many families over four generations .. why haven't they identified the gene involved?

By the way .. just curious .. wondering if you know any of the tens of thousands of families that have absolutely NO genetic link to autism? Especially those tens of thousands who witnessed their child's "regression" following numerous vaccinations?

John Stone

Linda

This statement from officials of the VICP to Sharyl Attkisson of CBS news may enligten you:

"The government has never compensated, nor has it ever been ordered to compensate, any case based on a determination that autism was actually caused by vaccines. We have compensated cases in which children exhibited an encephalopathy, or general brain disease. Encephalopathy may be accompanied by a medical progression of an array of symptoms including autistic behavior, autism, or seizures."

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-31727_162-20016356-10391695.html

While the head of Merck's division in the days when she was still head of the Centers for Disease Control admitted to CNN about vaccines and autism:

“….. if you’re predisposed with the mitochondrial disorder, it can certainly set off some damage. Some of the symptoms can be symptoms that have characteristics of autism.”

http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0803/29/hcsg.01.html

I don't know whether you know a lot of families with autism in four generations but there is of course the issue of the genetic susceptibility to environmental damage rather than genetic determination, for which there is little or no evidence.

John

Linda

It has been disproved that vaccines cause autism. I know families where it is in four generations. Yet, some want to believe vaccines cause autism when the older generations had no vaccines.

She states she "knows what is right" with the hubris of youth. Those who refuse vaccines can give diseases to expecting mothers who will then have children born with disabilities. Life expectancy has been lengthened by vaccines!

I am quite sure this will not be approved as a comment.

cmo

Congrats Olivia,

There is little question you are the smartest one in your class.

Standing up for the truth of anything... anywhere can be a bit costly.

Shell Tzorfas

Way to Go, a true leader in the making! 1 in 5 children are now neurologically impaired, 1 in 6 Developmentally Disabled, 1 in 10 ADHD, 1 in 50 Autistic from the aluminum, mercury, fetal cells, parts of cows, pigs, rats and caterpillars shot into babies ever since the US passed a law that said you could not sue vaccine maker's in regular courts and kids went from a few to 70 starting around 1991. Shell of "Recovering Autism, ADHD, & Special Needs."

Cherry Sperlin Misra

Thankyou Olivia, You stood up for yourself in an admirable manner and hopefully your act will give courage to those less courageous than you. This kind of behaviour on the part of the government is the real communism - not some imagined communism that we were taught to fear in my childhood.
If parents are forced to vaccinate their children, there will be some parents who greatly fear the health consequences to their child, but they may feel forced to harm their own child. Its a disgrace to put a parent into such a situation and we shall try to stand together to change the current situation.

Taximom5

Bravo, Olivia!

If you are interested in journalism, you may be interested in this:

http://www.vancouversun.com/health/Cochrane+review+vaccine+definitive+health+officer+suggests/7543272/story.html

Stand Up!

Olivia, thank you for standing up for what you believe in ....a true leader who never compromised!!

TM Watson

"Olivia, if you elect to have children in the future you must be prepared for the medical Gestapo now deeply entrenched within American hospitals as they are at your high-school."

Answer_ don't enslave your child to the state with a birth certificate. The hospital will be upset they don't get their $3,000 to $5,000 cheque from the government for obtaining the birth certificate, but "thems" are the breaks.

Record your child's birth in your family bible with the signatures of two witnesses and a notary.

MelissaD

Such an impressive young lady! What a fantastic role model you are for your classmates and other young people (and old people as well). Congratulations on your graduation!

Bob Moffitt

"Olivia Hudok, the class valedictorian, was told last Sept. 7 by Randolph County school officials that she could no longer attend classes without proof of vaccination. She and her father, Phil, took the issue to court ..."

Travis Alexander .. before his murder by Jodie Arias .. wrote:

"Some see stumbling blocks .. others see stepping stones".

Oliva and her father confronted a "stumbling block" .. and .. decided instead to use it as a "stepping stone" to a better world in West Virginia.


Benedetta

You never know were the heros will pop up do you.
This is fantastic!
Our country would never have gotten to be a great country if we did not have "Some" people stand up to those in power.

Pry Vate

Profoundly inspiring woman and story this is. Thank you for standing up for yourself Olivia. We also stood up for our parental rights, refused a pediatrician's demands for a tetanus vaccine, and had our two year old son kidnapped as a result. Our story is linked. Olivia, if you elect to have children in the future you must be prepared for the medical Gestapo now deeply entrenched within American hospitals as they are at your high-school.

White Rose

Olivia ...if you read this .... you have my backing.
You have done the right thing ! 100%
However difficult the authorities make it for us , they must be resisted , for this is definitely a battle for survival , its life or death .
I do not exaggerate the gravity of the issue in any way .

I applaud you .And your family .

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