YouTube | ABC News

Anti-Vax Student Sues For Being Kicked Out Of Class, Judge Denies His Case

Lynne Versluys 3 Apr 2019

A Kentucky high school student objects to vaccines and refuses to get one, but his school is requiring him to get a chicken pox vaccine.

An Outbreak

YouTube | ABC News

In Northern Kentucky, Our Lady of the Sacred Heart and Assumption Academy is facing an outbreak of chicken pox, with 32 students out with the virus.

Load Comments

A New Policy

YouTube | ABC News

The school has partnered with the local health department to require all students who haven't received the chicken pox vaccine to get inoculated before returning to school. One student, Jerome Kunkel, is refusing.

Load Comments

One Student Objects

YouTube | ABC News

Kunkel is a member of the school's basketball team and wants to return to school to finish the season, but he refuses to get vaccinated because of his religious beliefs. He has been out of school since March 15th.

Load Comments

Against His Beliefs

YouTube | ABC News

According to Kunkel, since the vaccines were developed in the 1960s using cells from two aborted fetuses, he won't get vaccinated. He told ABC News:

"As a Catholic, you know, we believe that abortion is wrong — morally wrong — and since the vaccine is derived from aborted fetal cells, that obviously goes directly against that."

However, the Vatican has long supported vaccinations, even ones developed from fetal cells, due to the widespread health benefits.

Load Comments

Denied By A Judge

YouTube | ABC News

Kunkel sued the Northern Kentucky Health Department for the right to return to school unvaccinated, but Boone County Circuit Judge James R. Schrand denied his request.

The Northern Kentucky Health Department released a statement to WXIX-TV, praising the judge's decision.

"We are pleased with the Court's careful and thorough review of the evidence and legal issues posed in this case."

Load Comments

For The Safety Of The Community

YouTube | ABC News

While Kunkel believes that he is being discriminated against on the basis of religion, the Health Department reiterated the importance of vaccines for the health and safety of the community.

"The Court's ruling, which follows on the heels of the Northern Kentucky Health Department receiving national recognition through re-accreditation by the Public Health Accreditation Board, underscores the critical need for Public Health Departments to preserve the safety of the entire community, and in particular the safety of those members of our community who are most susceptible to the dire consequences when a serious, infectious disease such as varicella, is left unabated and uncontrolled."

Load Comments
Next Article