Rochester Students Could Be Sent Home If Not Vaccinated

ROCHESTER, Minn. (AP) — More than 100 students in Rochester will be sent home from school on Wednesday unless they can prove they’ve been vaccinated or are exempt.

School officials said last week that starting March 1, students who can’t provide proper immunization paperwork will be sent home. State law requires that students be immunized or be officially exempt for reasons such as health or religion.

School officials have said they’ve been working since January to tell families about the requirements. Last week, the Rochester Post-Bulletin reported that more than 200 students still hadn’t provided paperwork, prompting school officials to announce that students without the paperwork would be sent home.

The Star Tribune reported that after that announcement, dozens of students provided the paperwork. But 115 still had not complied as of Tuesday.

When those students get to school on Wednesday, they’ll be taken out of class and brought to school offices, where administrators will try to reach parents or guardians to resolve the situation, said Heather Nessler, a Rochester Public Schools spokeswoman.

“We’ll just keep working to make sure that either they visit Public Health or one of the clinics in town to fill out the proper forms,” Nessler said. She also said students will be allowed back in school once the paperwork is in.

Last week, the school board made the decision to remove students because of the high number of those without immunizations or valid exemptions.

“We’ve been working extremely hard to reach out to families … try to help them,” Superintendent Michael Munoz said last week. “But we finally got to the point where we had to draw a line and say, ‘you need to get this done by this date.'”

Munoz said the district is talking about ways to provide families with access to immunizations before the next school year begins.

(© Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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