Tangled Webs Created by Conflicting School Laws

Children of school age in Pennsylvania are required to be in school-either public, qualified private or home school-during the prescribed academic year. Failure to attend if registered in a public school can lead to truancy charges against the parents. Meanwhile, Allegheny County requires kids to show proof of immunization against several diseases before they are allowed to attend a public school class.

So, if you want to go to school you have to be immunized. If you or your parents either don’t want you to go-or couldn’t care less-and you refuse to be vaccinated, the school can have you declared truant and have your parents face charges.

Quandary. What to do with the recalcitrant who refuses the shots? Hold them down and force the vaccinations? Or lock the parents up until they agree to force you to get immunized?

Either way, the force or threat of physical force by government must be used. Is that what we signed up for in 1776 and 1787? Compulsory attendance laws so violate fundamental liberty that they can only be justified if national security is at risk or there is an imminent threat to public safety. If those circumstances actually exist they beg the question: if students are compelled to attend why aren’t schools compelled to teach? When did the last principal go to jail for failure of his students to learn? The answer to that question puts the whole issue in its proper perspective. Too bad we have lost sight of what is really involved.