SCS clarifies policy of sending unvaccinated students home - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

SCS clarifies policy of sending unvaccinated students home

Shelby County Schools (Source: WMC Action News 5) Shelby County Schools (Source: WMC Action News 5)

Shelby County Schools is taking a bold stance on measles. 

Students without two doses of the measles vaccine are being told to stay home.

SCS sent home letters to parents of students who do not have the required measles vaccinations in their shot records.

Click here to read the letter sent to parents of students with one dose of the vaccine.

Click here to read the letter sent to parents of students with no doses of the vaccine.

SCS said while students without the vaccine are not allowed to go to school, they are also not considering it a suspension. 

"Under no circumstances are students being suspended for not having complete vaccination records. Any absences as a result of this situation will be excused with proof of vaccines during the time missed. We regret any inconvenience, and of course any loss of instructional time. We just want to take every precaution possible to ensure the health and safety of our students."

Click here to see complete coverage of the measles outbreak.

"I think for the safety of our children--my children--I would love for everybody in the class to be vaccinated," parent Stacy Troter said. 

Shelby County Health Department has six confirmed measles cases. That's more than the rest of the country combined.

None of those cases have been directly linked to any Shelby County School.

However, the school district said it continues to work closely with the health department to prevent the outbreak from spreading into classrooms.

"To ensure that the student population is fully protected, they're double checking around this to see who doesn't have it," Helen Morrow of the Shelby County Health Department said.

Any child who does not have any doses of the measles vaccination must get the first one before returning to school. That student then must get the second dose of the vaccine before attending summer school or returning to class in the fall.

The school district and the health department said it's also possible, that parents received the letters but their child does have the vaccination. That might indicate the school did not receive complete immunization records. 

In that case, parents should contact the schools to correct the records.

SCS also allows certain immunization exemptions based on religious and medical reasons.

SCS said parents with approved exemptions must show proof in order for their child to come to class.

"That's something that comes with being a responsible parent," Troter said. "You have rules and regulations everywhere you go, and I think that as a parent if you don't set that standard early, then your children won't have that standard to follow."

Administrators said students that miss class due to a lack of immunizations or proper documents on file will receive excused absences and be allowed to make up any missed class work.

SCS has four student health clinics that can provide the vaccine. Call (901)531-6321 if you are interested in getting the vaccine that way.

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