Rockland County, which was the center of the recent measles outbreak in New York, banned more than 40 children from attending their schools.
The group of parents of the children that were affected by this ban said that it was doing “more harm than good”, and they decided to sue the officials for banning their unvaccinated children from school during a measles outbreak.
They first requested their children to be allowed to return, but were denied by the court.
The New York Times reported that New York State is currently facing one of the most severe measles outbreaks in decades, and there have been 145 cases reported in Rockland County since October 2018.
The public health officials made the decision to ban unvaccinated students from attending school in December, but the children’s parents did not receive that decision well.
So, a group of these parents took it upon themselves and decided to sue the Rockland County health department and ask a federal judge to issue an injunction to allow their children to return to school.
The court denied their request on Tuesday.
As you probably know already, measles is a preventable disease, even though highly contagious, and the key in reducing the number of infected children is, of course, vaccination.
According to Professor Katherine O’Brien, the Director of Immunisation and Vaccines of the World Health Organization, the world is now “backsliding” in its attempts to stop the spread of measles.
Judge Vincent Bricetti at Federal District Court in White Plains ruled against the group of parents, and said that they had “not demonstrated that public interest weighs in favor of granting an injunction”.
One of the parents has since told CBS that preventing her child from being with his class and teacher has had a significant social and psychological impact.
According to the mother, her kid has already missed more than 90 days of classes.
Even though the attorney for the families stated that he doesn’t believe the law gives the authority to the public health commissioner of the country or the state to exclude children from schools, the judge disagreed, saying that the exclusion is in order to protect public health, and it’s “neither arbitrary nor outrageous”.