ACTION ALERT NY – Try to Delay Children Kicked Out of School

Contact NY Board of Regents to Delay Children Kicked Out of School

July 13, 2019 — The courts said NO when Attorney Michael Sussman asked for a “stay” on the repeal of the religious exemption to vaccination. The next step is to ask the Board of Regents to delay the implementation of the law. It makes sense for them to delay it, and the Board is well within their power to make such a decision.

We need you to contact the Board of Regents NOW – today, tomorrow and Monday, as the Board will be meeting on Monday July 15th. SAVE THE DATE: July 15, Attend the Next Meeting of the Regents in Albany!

At this meeting the Board has the authority to delay kicking children out of school in New York. Below is John Gilmore’s action alert with all the important contact information and directions, including a sample letter you can use to draft your own letter. Make sure you explain why this is important to you and how it impacts you and your family:

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As most of you know, the request for a preliminary restraining order on the NY law repealing the religious exemption was denied yesterday.  The Court will reconsider this issue again in the near future. In the meantime, we need to use every possible way to reduce the harm done by the repeal of the religious exemption, and restore our children’s rights. One way you can help with that is to come to the next meeting of the New York Board of Regents in Albany on Monday, July 15. The Board of Regents sets policy for all public schools in New York and has significant oversight authority over private schools. The Regents could issue an emergency regulation to delay the implementation of the repeal of religious exemptions, and they already have the power to compel school districts allow students with IEPs and 504 plans to remain in school until the schools deliver at home the services these students have a right to under Federal, not state, law.

 Please TAKE ACTION NOW and send letters to and call Chancellor Betty Rosa and the New York State Board of Regents to slowdown the rushed implementation of the repeal of New York’s religious exemption, and to continue providing special education services required by federal law.

 Please click on the Take Action link to send messages to Chancellor Rosa and the four “At Large” Regents, who represent the entire state.

In an earlier Action Alert we inadvertently left off Regent Christine Cea who represents Staten Island whose contact information we included below.

New York families, with more than 26,000 students who have had legal religious exemptions, should have reasonable time to make the necessary plans to either homeschool their children, or move to any of the 45 states that have religious exemptions, or the 19 states that allow exemptions for any reason. California and Maine, the other two states that repealed religious exemption laws, provided a much longer phase in time to implement their new laws, and for families and schools to make necessary arrangements. California allowed 3 to 8 years for students to get vaccinated, and Maine allowed more than 2 years. New York gave exactly 15 days after the Governor signed the bill on June 13 for parents to begin vaccinating, and some schools are already denying education to regular and special education students.

Yet nothing in the recently passed law relieves New York Schools of providing a free and appropriate education to students with special needs. California recognized this issue by allowing students with IEPs and 504 plans to keep existing religious exemptions.

SAVE THE DATE: July 15Attend the Next Meeting of the Regents in Albany

    The Board of Regents is meeting in Albany on Monday,  July 15, 9:00 am at the State Education Building, 89 Washington Avenue, Albany, NY 12234 (across the street from the Capitol.) Our presence and attendance are important. Get there early if you want a seat in the very small conference room the Regents use. Please save the date and share with your networks.

Sample Letter for the Regents

     Below is both a sample letter and a phone script that you can personalize or leave as is. Please focus on the implementation of the law. Please copy and paste the letter & the email the list of Regents members, and cc your legislators, school boards and parent organizations.

    The Regents are a little understood appointed board that sets education policy for New York State. Betty Rosa is the Chancellor and head of the Regents. She is the most important person to contact. Each Regent represents certain counties. Check the list below to see which Regent represents your county and be sure to contact your Regent. And contact as many of them as your time will allow.

Honorable ______________________ ,

State Education Building

89 Washington Avenue

Albany, NY 12234

Dear Regent  _____________________,

      I am writing about the new law that abruptly repeals religious exemptions to vaccination to attend school. My children, and more than 26,000 other students across the state of New York, will not be able to attend school in the fall. The financial impact and emotional hardship of this new law is causing my family and thousands of other New York families horrific hardships because of their religious beliefs. The new law will not change our religious beliefs, and as a law-abiding citizen, the implementation should respect my ability to adapt to the new law, while respecting and preserving my constitutional right to freedom of religion free from state interference. The immediate implementation of this new law creates profound financial and emotional hardship on our family.

    New York families should have reasonable time to make the necessary plans to either homeschool their children, or move to any of the 45 states that have religious exemptions, or the 19 states that allow exemptions for any reason. California and Maine, the other two states that have repealed religious exemption laws, provide a much longer phase in time to implement the new law and for families and schools to make necessary arrangements. California allowed 3 to 8 years for students to get vaccinated, and Maine allowed more than 2 years. New York gave exactly 15 days after the Governor signed the bill on June 13 for parents to begin vaccinating, and some schools are already denying education to regular and special education students.

      Yet nothing in the recently passed law relieves New York Schools of providing a free and appropriate education to students with special needs. California recognized this issue by allowing students with IEPs and 504 plans to keep existing religious exemptions.

     Several school districts around the state are sending letters to families stating they will report the families to Child Protective Services (CPS) if families don’t start vaccinating. Ostracizing families for their religious convictions adds unnecessary emotional turmoil.

     We are looking to the NYSED the Regents as the agency implementing this law, for immediate relief and a more practical timeline for the implementation of this new law so both parents and school districts have reasonable time to prepare to address the challenges of this new policy.

     We believe the legislators did not fully consider the short-term implications of this law and its impact on New York families. I implore the Regents to make this an immediate priority to ensure thousands of students are able to return to school for the 2019-2020 school year.

Sincerely,


Sample Script for phone calls

       Please call the Regents at the numbers below. Here is a short script to use and feel free to personalize it and please focus on the implementation of the law.

     Hi, my name is _____________________ I am calling regarding the new law that abruptly repeals religious exemptions to vaccination.

     The immediate implementation of this new law creates profound financial and emotional hardship on our family. We are unable to quickly organize other educational options for our children or sell our homes to move to any of the other 45 states that allow religious exemptions. We are looking to the New State Education Department and Board of Regents for immediate relief and a more practical timeline for the implementation of this new law so both parents and school districts have reasonable time to prepare to address the challenges of this new law. Other states that have repealed religious exemption like California allowed up to 8 year and Maine which allows 2 years, New York has given us 15 days to begin vaccinating, and some schools are already denying education to regular and special education students.

      Yet nothing in the recently passed law relieves New York Schools of providing a free and appropriate education to students with special needs. California recognized this issue by allowing students with IEPs and 504 plans to keep existing religious exemptions.

     We believe the legislators did not fully consider the short-term implications of this law and its impact on families in New York state and we need your help. Thank you for your time and for helping my family and thousands across the state.

Find Your Regent

Find your Regent’s name here, or check the list below.

https://www.regents.nysed.gov/members/findrep

Betty A. Rosa  

Chancellor

12th Judicial District Regents Office,

State Education Building,

89 Washington Avenue, Albany, N.Y. 12234

(518) 474-5889

Regent.Rosa@nysed.gov

District is Bronx County

At Large Regents

The following Regents are at “At Large” members, meaning they do not represent a specific geographic area but the entire state. Everybody should contact the At Large members.

James E. Cottrell

SUNY Downstate Medical Center

450 Clarkson Avenue – Box 6

Brooklyn, NY 11203-2098

(718) 270-2331

Regent.Cottrell@nysed.gov

Lester W. Young, Jr.

55 Hanson Place, Suite 400

Brooklyn, NY 11217

(718) 722-2796

Regent.Young@nysed.gov

Wade S. Norwood

74 Appleton Street

Rochester, NY 14611

Phone (585) 436-2944

Regent.Norwood@nysed.gov

Luis O. Reyes

Regents Office, State Education Building

89 Washington Avenue

Albany, NY 12234

(518) 474-5889

Regent.Reyes@nysed.gov

The following Regents represent specific counties. Please check to see which Regent represents your County.

Nan Eileen Mead

1st Judicial District

116 West 32nd Street, 6th Floor,

New York, NY 10001 212-643-3039

Regent.Mead@nysed.gov

District is  New York County (Manhattan)

Kathleen M. Cashin

2nd Judicial District Regents Office,

State Education Building

89 Washington Avenue,

Albany, NY 12234 Phone

(518) 474-5889

Regent.Cashin@nysed.gov

District is Kings County (Brooklyn)

Josephine Victoria Finn

3rd Judicial District Regents Office,

State Education Building

89 Washington Avenue, Albany, NY 12234

(518) 474-5889

Regent.Finn@nysed.gov

• Albany

• Columbia

• Greene

• Rensselaer

• Schoharie

• Sullivan

• Ulster

Beverly L. Ouderkirk

4th Judicial District

303 Main Street, Morristown, NY 13664

(315) 375-8596

Regent.Ouderkirk@nysed.gov

District includes the following counties:

• Clinton

• Essex

• Franklin

• Fulton

• Hamilton.

• Montgomery

• Saratoga

• Schenectady

• St Lawrence

• Warren

• Washington

Elizabeth S. Hakanson

5th Judicial District Regents Office,

State Education Building,

89 Washington Avenue, Albany, N.Y. 12234

(518) 474-5889

District includes the following counties:

Regent.Hakanson@nysed.gov

• Herkimer

• Jefferson

• Lewis

• Oneida

• Onondaga

• Oswego

Susan W. Mittler

6th Judicial District Regents Office,

State Education Building,

89 Washington Avenue,

Albany, NY, 12234

(518) 474-5889

Regent.Mittler@nysed.gov

District includes the following counties:

• Broome

• Chemung

• Chenango

• Cortland

• Delaware

• Madison

• Otsego

• Schuyler

• Tioga

T. Andrew Brown

Vice Chancellor

7th Judicial District 925 Crossroads Building,

Two State Street, Rochester, NY 14614

(585) 454-3667

Regent.Brown@nysed.gov

District includes the following counties:

• Cayuga

• Livingston

• Monroe

• Ontario

• Seneca

• Steuben

• Wayne

• Yates

Catherine Collins

8th Judicial District

508 Main Street, Buffalo, NY,

14202 (518) 474-5889

Regent.Collins@nysed.gov

District includes the following counties:

• Allegany

• Cattaraugus

• Chautauqua

• Erie • Genesee

• Niagara

• Orleans

• Wyoming

Judith Johnson

9th Judicial District Regents Office,

State Education Building

89 Washington Avenue,

Albany, NY, 12234

(518) 474-5889

Regent.Johnson@nysed.gov

District includes the following counties:

• Dutchess

• Orange

• Putnam

• Rockland

• Westchester

Roger Tilles

10th Judicial District

Lorber Hall, Room 211

Long Island University

720 Northern Boulevard,

Brookville, NY 11548

(516) 299-3505

Regent.Tilles@nysed.gov

District includes the following counties:

• Nassau

• Suffolk

Judith Chin

11th Judicial District Regents Office,

State Education Building,

89 Washington Avenue,

Albany, NY 12234

(518) 474-5889

Regent.Chin@nysed.gov

District is Queens County

Christine D. Cea

Member

13th Judicial District

Regents Office, State Education Building,

89 Washington Avenue

Albany, NY 12234

Phone (518) 474-5889

Regent.Cea@nysed.gov

District is Staten Island (Richmond County)