SACRAMENTO (KCBS) – Hundreds of angry parents are expected to take to the state Capitol in Sacramento on Wednesday, expressing their opposition to a bill that would eliminate the personal belief exemption from California’s childhood vaccination law.
In fact, many have threatened to pull their kids out of public school and teach them at home to avoid the shots.READ MORE: San José School District Secures Vaccine for Entire Workforce
The bill’s co-author, state Senator Richard Pan, agreed to amend SB277 to exempt home-schooled children from the vaccination requirements.
But he said all kids going to public or private school would have to be immunized, unless a doctor grants them a medical excuse.
“When you go to school, there are certain requirements you need to meet,” Pan said. “Those requirements are there to protect not just the individual, but the people around them.”READ MORE: Golden Gate Fields Races to Make Up for Missed Vaccine Appointments
Parents opposed to vaccines are seizing on that home school exception, and will tell the Senate Education Committee they will remove their kids from the school system and teach them at home, just to avoid the shots.
That could cost school districts a lot of state education funding. But Rose Vasquez, a Marin County homeschooling mom, said it would be a silver lining for these families.
“It will be the greatest gift that could possibly happen to them, the state forcing them into feeling that they need to home school their children,” Vasquez said. “They’ll homeschool and they’ll look back and say, why didn’t I do this sooner.”MORE NEWS: Study Shows Stockton Universal Basic Income Experiment Led to Increased Employment
Pan said his only goal behind the bill is to prevent another outbreak like last year’s measles cases at Disneyland.