Over the last few years, New York and California dumped more than 75,000 students from school when they removed the religious exemption to vaccination. My home state of Connecticut is ramming through a similar bill, after having tabled it last winter. Children in Connecticut will be sent home without access to school because of their vaccination status. Healthy children. During COVID, we have watched our nations' children freefall into depression, families pushed to the brink of financial ruin and fatigue. And experts are coming to their defense. Rightly so. But why did none of this matter for the families whose kids were kicked out for lack of X, Y or Z vaccination before COVID? Student equity was never mentioned.
At my youngest daughter's small school for special education, mostly autism, 40% of the 42 students used the religious exemption. When COVID struck last Spring, the Founder and board closed the school for good, with two weeks notice to staff and families. Bella was home for 5 months until we were able to enroll her in a new program close to home and where she is thriving. When her school closed, families wondered what was the real reason, surely it wasn't COVID restrictions as so many private and special education schools have found a way to stay open. They sold the land in well to do Southport, Connecticut for more than $5,000,000 according to news reports. And the land had been DONATED when the school launched. A ha! But the tired cynic in me wonders if they did not see the writing on the wall regarding vaccination choice and knew that 40% of their kids would be tossed out and their six figure tuition lost once Connecticut forced through the removal of the Religious Exemption?
Healthy children belong in school. Period. Take a look at Chicago, where the Teachers' Union is refusing to go back and the even the Mayor is losing her patience. For us? Mayors and Governors lost their tempers, their heads and their compassion. What a difference a pandemic makes?
ABC 7 Chicago: CHICAGO (WLS) -- In an update Thursday morning, Mayor Lori Lightfoot said Chicago Public Schools and the Chicago Teachers Union still have not reached a deal, despite progress being made throughout the week.
Lightfoot reiterated what steps the city has taken in an effort to ensure safety and said the CTU created chaos, and the ball is in their court.
Chicago Public Schools and the Chicago Teachers Union still have not agreed to a deal Thursday.
"Schools are safe," Lightfoot said. "My patience is up."