The government of Maryland is ganging up on parents, forcing them to vaccinate their kids. This is a nice little group effort, brought by the schools, but also, the state health department, each with the ability to force this issue or deprive these adults of their liberty.
When a private school has immunization requirements and you do not follow them, they can refuse to let your kid go to their school. When a government school has immunization requirements and you do not follow them, they can have you jailed. Read that again.
The vaccination decision should be just that: a decision made by parents who ideally have researched the risk factors and can make a rational decision based on their situation. Unfortunately, too many parents don't read the literature they receive at the pediatrician's office, or haven't maybe considered the implications of the existence of the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program. These vaccines are potentially--rarely, sure--dangerous. And to force compliance with state immunization laws with the threat of jail is an unconscionable violation of individual rights.
This vaccination decision should not be taken lightly, yet note how the judge in this matter views the situation:
The judge noted the unhappy looks of some of the kids in line waiting for vaccinations.
"It's cute. It looks like their parents are dragging them to church," Nichols said.
No--"cute" is not the word I'm thinking of.
Also, what's wrong with this sentence (from the Fox article)?
The get-tough policy in the Washington suburbs of Prince George's County was one of the strongest efforts made by any U.S. school system to ensure its youngsters receive their required immunizations.
I'll tell you--it's the use of the possessive pronoun "its" and I'm not talking about grammar here. These "youngsters" do not belong to the state, to Prince George's County, Maryland. These kids belong to their parents.
In related "who owns your body" news, Galileo Blogs has a terrific post about Barry Bonds and whether any crime has actually been committed.