Should kids who aren't vaccinated be in school during an outbrea - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Should kids who aren't vaccinated be in school during an outbreak?

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SPOKANE VALLEY, Wash. -

Should kids who aren't vaccinated be in school during an outbreak?

Some Spokane Valley city council members say it should be up to the parents to decide and they're working on a plan to make that happen.  It's a proposed ordinance called, "Protecting Parental Rights." The proposed ordinance covers everything from vaccination, school exclusion, education, to healthcare and privacy.

Washington State Law says every kid needs to be vaccinated in school. You can get an exemption but during an outbreak, like the mumps outbreak last school year, dozens of un-vaccinated students were sent home. The school district said it was to protect them and also slow the outbreak.

"They have the same dreams and goals that every student does. They are exactly the same as every other student. They are just lacking that medical procedure," said Jaclyn Gallion, a Spokane Valley mother of eight.

In Gallion's case, her son was excluded from school for 19 days. "They shouldn't be negatively impacted. You vaccinate because you feel it's right for your family. You don't vaccinate for the community because those vaccines are not 100 percent effective," she said.

Gallion's story is part of the reason why Spokane Valley councilman Ed Pace says parents should decide whether to keep their children home during a disease outbreak. "The final decision maker should be the parents," said Pace.

"They shouldn't be discriminated or segregated or harmed in any way and they were punished," said Gallion.

However, Spokane Regional Health Officer Bob Lutz says the exclusion put in place was never seen as a punishment. "The exclusion was there to essentially prevent susceptible individuals from coming down with a communicable disease," said Lutz.

Pace says they're still working on the proposed ordinance and they should have something finalized by the end of the year. 

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