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School Districts

New Rule Requires Child Vaccinations for School...ASAP!

New Rule Requires Child Vaccinations for School...ASAP!

By Elizabeth J. Billies | Esquire

As another school year gets underway, parents should be aware of a new Pennsylvania state health rule which requires that their children have certain vaccinations before the first day of school.  If they don’t have these vaccinations, they will be unable to enroll and begin classes.

Under the old rule, parents had up to eight months to get their children vaccinated.  Under the new rule, the eight-month grace period has been changed to only five days.  Furthermore, the new regulations require that children receive additional vaccinations that were not previously mandated.  For example, students entering their senior year in high school must now receive a second dose of a meningitis vaccine.  Children are also now required to receive four doses of the polio vaccine.

It is unclear as to how districts will enforce these requirements and parents are still able to seek an exemption for religious, medical, or philosophical reasons.  However, the change in the rules clearly indicates that schools take vaccinations seriously and, but for good reason, children will be required to receive same. 

For more information, please read the full article from The Philadelphia Inquirer, which also includes a link to the new state rules.

Trump Administration Rescinds Transgender Guidance to Schools

Trump Administration Rescinds Transgender Guidance to Schools

By Kyle J. Somers | Esquire

On February 22, 2017, the U.S. Departments of Education and Justice issued a “Dear Colleague” letter  to the leaders of the nation’s school systems rescinding prior guidance, issued under President Obama, regarding the rights of transgender students. 

Although the letter suggests that the federal government intends to allow states and local school districts to establish their own individual policies regarding transgender students, it also states that they intend to “more completely consider the legal issues involved.”  That consideration will likely involve keeping a close eye on the forthcoming decision by the Supreme Court of the United States in G.G. v. Gloucester County Sch. Bd., a case that involves a school district’s adoption of a policy prohibiting students from using the restroom that corresponds to their gender identity, as well as other similar cases throughout the country.

While the issuance of the “Dear Colleague” letter may be viewed by opponents of the prior guidance as a victory, school leaders should be aware that the issue is in no way settled.  This hotly-contested topic will almost certainly continue to be litigated and, in the absence of new legislation, it will only be through future court decisions that we’ll develop a clearer understanding as to the legal rights of transgender students.