No School for Unvaccinated California Students

Begun in the 1800s to prevent smallpox, vaccinations in U.S. schools have long been a requirement for children to enter public school. All 50 states have immunization requirements and laws vary from state to state, though nearly all require shots for certain conditions including measles, mumps and pertussis or whooping cough. Students in California recently found out just how seriously schools respond when these vaccinations have not been administered.

Find available tutors

For Some Schools: No Shot, No Chance

The San Francisco Unified School District began turning away students not yet vaccinated against whooping cough on Thursday, September 15th. About 2,000 students were not vaccinated despite a 30-day extension imposed during the summer. Unvaccinated students in Sacramento's Natomas Unified School District were gathered in the gymnasium, where in one high school nurses were giving shots to those in a line that 'curled around the gym' according to the Huffington Post.

There's good reason for the tough stance: in 2010, California saw its worst whooping cough epidemic since 1959 (16.1 per 100,000 rate of illness then as compared to 14.5 per 100,000 in '10). State officials were so worried about a repeat of the previous year that they passed a law requiring that all students in grades 7-12 be vaccinated against the disease, which is potentially fatal. There were ten fatalities in the state last year, all infants too young for the vaccination.

California State Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher, who co-wrote the new law, spoke out for compliance. 'This is not an academic or philosophical discussion,' he told the Huffington Post. 'Children have died as a result of this.' He added that 'school districts need to take seriously the obligations to comply with (the new law).'

Despite this, some districts did not react as strongly as San Francisco and allowed students to attend school. 'We will not withhold education from our students,' Debbie Bettencourt, superintendent of the Folsom Cordova Unified School District, told Time Magazine on September 16, 2011. One could speculate that schools might be making that choice since funding in California is based on student attendance. Whatever the reasons, state officials stressed that schools allowing any student who had not received the vaccine on school property were breaking the law.

California law does permit students who have not been vaccinated to attend school if parents submit a form stating that they oppose the practice, allowing for a parental personal belief exemption. No district reported having less than half of students unvaccinated, with others reporting nearly 100% compliance.

Did you find this useful? If so, please let others know!

Other Articles You May Be Interested In

  • More Blog Articles
    Should IT Matter How Your Child's Teacher Dresses?

    Dress codes have long been a staple in many schools across the country. In some cases, students and even parents have opposed them. But what about dress codes for teachers? When it comes to this issue, just where do most people stand? And should a teacher's clothing even be of concern to parents?

  • More Blog Articles
    How Can You Know if College Is Right for Your Child?

    A prevailing school of thought is that most people need college in order to be successful. But this certainly may not always be the case. Quite simply, not everyone is college material. If your teen will soon be graduating from high school, you may need to contemplate whether college is right for your child.

We Found 7 Tutors You Might Be Interested In

Huntington Learning

  • What Huntington Learning offers:
  • Online and in-center tutoring
  • One on one tutoring
  • Every Huntington tutor is certified and trained extensively on the most effective teaching methods
In-Center and Online


  • What K12 offers:
  • Online tutoring
  • Has a strong and effective partnership with public and private schools
  • AdvancED-accredited corporation meeting the highest standards of educational management
Online Only

Kaplan Kids

  • What Kaplan Kids offers:
  • Online tutoring
  • Customized learning plans
  • Real-Time Progress Reports track your child's progress
Online Only


  • What Kumon offers:
  • In-center tutoring
  • Individualized programs for your child
  • Helps your child develop the skills and study habits needed to improve their academic performance
In-Center and Online

Sylvan Learning

  • What Sylvan Learning offers:
  • Online and in-center tutoring
  • Sylvan tutors are certified teachers who provide personalized instruction
  • Regular assessment and progress reports
In-Home, In-Center and Online

Tutor Doctor

  • What Tutor Doctor offers:
  • In-Home tutoring
  • One on one attention by the tutor
  • Develops personlized programs by working with your child's existing homework
In-Home Only


  • What TutorVista offers:
  • Online tutoring
  • Student works one-on-one with a professional tutor
  • Using the virtual whiteboard workspace to share problems, solutions and explanations
Online Only

Our Commitment to You

  • Free Help from Teachers

  • Free Learning Materials

  • Helping Disadvantaged Youth