Judge Rules Against Mom Seeking to Have Unvaccinated Kids Admitted into OP Schools

Mother cites religious reasons for not vaccinating two kids

Tom Puckett
February 15, 2019 - 2:25 pm

Orchard Park, NY (WBEN) A mother fighting to have her children enrolled at an area high school without vaccinations received a setback in State Supreme Court Friday.

Marina Williams cited religious reasons for not vaccinating her children, ages 15 and 13. The Orchard Park School District would not allow them to enroll or give them alternative means of learning, says the family's attorney Frank Housh. "It's going to take at least six months, maybe two years before the state education commissioner rules on our appeal. Today's hearing was about an alternative means of education in the meantime, which was denied," explains Housh.

The judge ruled there is no precedent or not enough fact to order the Orchard Park School District to allow the two into school without vaccinations. Housh says there was no problem in another district the kids were in. "They were in the West Seneca district for ten years without a problem. They haven't had any health issues," says Housh. Housh says Orchard Park told Williams she was using the same forms in West Seneca and the forms were insufficient. She then filled out Orchard Park's forms but the district ruled that insufficient, too.

Housh emphasizes this is not an anti-vaccination case. "She does not take any particular position on whether vaccinations are good or bad. Her objection is strictly religious," says Housh.

Orchard Park Schools issued the following statement:

A school district has no duty more important than protecting the health, safety, and welfare of its students and staff.    Today Judge Grisanti confirmed our position is correct and that the District acted appropriately concerning an exemption to the New York State immunization laws.  Since we do not know if the parent will appeal this decision, the District is unable to comment any further at this time.  

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