Friday, September 12, 2008

Scholastic Blames Homeschoolers for Measles Outbreak

Illinois saw 32 cases of measles this summer – more than any year since 1994, and the most of any state. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention concluded most were unvaccinated – and specifically, unvaccinated kids who are homeschooled.

Here we go again, blaming homeschoolers for something that isn't necessarily their fault. Many homeschoolers do in fact vaccinate their kids. My kids have received all their vaccines although we didn't have to vaccinate as we homeschooled.

From the Chicgago Tribune.
In Illinois the number of (public) schoolchildren not getting shots for religious reasons is small but rising. During the 2007-08 academic year, almost 7,000 (public school) students got religious exemptions to avoid the measles shot, compared with about 3,000 in 1998-99. Those figures do not include home-schooled children, who sometimes go unvaccinated.

So they know 7,000 public school students didn't get vaccinated for "religious reasons" BUT Scholastic has an article entitled Homeschool Parents Spread Measles on their website. Why are homeschoolers being blamed instead of the 7,000 public school students who are unvaccinated due to religious reasons?

They also ignore the fact that most parents make the decision to vaccinate before the child reaches school age (see vaccination schedule). The decision to homeschool may be driven by the parents desire not to expose their children to what they see as risky vaccines. But homeschooling isn't to blame for children being unvaccinated.


  1. In this particular measles outbreak, the cluster was concentrated among children whose families attend a particular church. The primary motivator not to use the MMR vaccine appears be the fact that this particular shot is derived from a stem cell line originally obtained through abortion. So the real issue here seems to be religion, not homeschooling per se.

    I personally make a case-by-case judgment about abortion-tainted vaccines. For me, it depends on the potential seriousness of the disease. The 3 vaccines that do not have pro-life alternatives available are chicken pox, hepatitis A, and rubella. The first two are generally "nuisance" diseases so we forgo those. The 3rd is trickier because rubella can cause miscarriage, stillbirth, and serious birth defects. So for that reason, I've decided to go ahead & have my kids vax against it despite my concerns about the shot's origin.

  2. Thanks for the insight Crimson Wife.

    "the MMR vaccine appears be the fact that this particular shot is derived from a stem cell line originally obtained through abortion."

    I didn't know vaccines were derived from stem cell lines obtained through abortion. My attitude would be that at least some good could come from the tragedy of an unwanted pg.


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