© 2017, Philip B. Silberman
CHCA board members volunteered ~150 hours auditing all 180 school districts websites in the state to ensure they are following Colorado vaccine exemption law.
Obtaining a vaccine exemption in Colorado is not an application process to be accepted or denied by a state agency or a school district. The law states: “A student shall be exempted…” It does not say “may be exempted if a state agency deems her worthy”, “can be exempted if they use the official form”, or “might be exempted if a school nurse chooses to honor it”. It says SHALL BE EXEMPTED. There is no decision to be made. The law is clear. Vaccine exemptions are legal rights to be exercised, not state blessings to be bestowed.
Arguments based upon agency derived rules demanding the use of exemption forms are irrelevant. Agency rules do not supersede the law. Rules may be promulgated, royal decrees may be proclaimed, and lobbyists may be pandered to, but the law is clear. No forms are required.
The law also requires school districts to provide information about vaccine exemption options. CHCA board members volunteered ~150 hours contacting every school district in the state to ensure they are following Colorado vaccine exemption law. Many of the districts expressed gratitude for the information and updated their websites immediately. Others required more, shall we say, coaxing. While a couple of districts were taken aback by the severity and seriousness of the communications, not one of them questioned the legal arguments presented. After more than two months of citizens’ persistent work, all of Colorado’s school districts’ websites are now in compliance with CRS 25-4-903.