Today is "No Shots, No School…Not True!" Day

Within the Everything Birth community, there are varied beliefs on vaccination.  Some of our readers have no concerns about vaccinations and are thankful to have access to them. Many of our readers believe that vaccines are crucial, but carry risks. Many even believe that the risks outweigh the benefits. Others believe that vaccines do not even work and are contributing to vast amounts of morbidity and some moralities around the world. Some of our readers simply plan to delay vaccination, until their children are a little older. After all, they assume that in order to go to public school, their children will need to be vaccinated.

Around the nation, at this time of year, parents see signs on their public school billboards and in handouts that read, in no uncertain terms:

No Shots, No School!

Parents have enough to deal with without being lied to.

The truth is parents can file exemptions for their children to avoid vaccinations and still be able to send their children to public school. As of July 2012, all 50 states allow vaccination exemptions for medical reasons; 48 states allow exemptions for religious reasons; and 19 states allow exemptions for philosophical reasons.  The schools and the newspapers will rarely tell you about these exemptions or how to do it, that is why is working diligently to inform parents of their rights. is behind these billboards, click the photo to see them in action:

There are also many other organizations that are devoted to helping parents learn how they can protect the legal rights of their children. For example, the NVIC has a fantastic state-by-state guide to help. You can find that here.

Regardless of your opinion of vaccines, I don’t think anyone thinks it’s morally acceptable to lie to parents. That is just what schools, health departments and newspapers all over the country are doing when they declare “No Shots, No School!” For example:

Let’s take my state: Michigan.  Michigan has exemptions for medical, religious and philosophical reasons.

So, let’s pretend I am a normal mom from Michigan, trying to decide if I should vaccinate and my child’s pediatrician tells me that I have to get certain vaccines in order to get into school. I would go to the state website and check for myself. So, let’s say I did that search. I’d end up here:


Then, I’d skim for the rules. “Oh yes! There! Immunization School and Childcare/Preschool Rules!”  Then I’d click through, and get to this page:


Clear as day, there’s a link to the 2012-2013 School Year Immunization Rules.  Certainly, if I click there, it will make mention of the exemption possibility.  Right?


So, you see, it’d be really easy to think that I had no choice in the matter.  Even though in my state, I have a great deal of LEGALLY PROTECTED rights when it comes to vaccination.

Actually, this basic journey, I walked you through is why I never bothered to research vaccines with my oldest child. Prior to his early vaccinations, when I asked about safety, I was given some VIS, you know the cute little colored 8 1/2 by 11 sheets of paper, and told that he’d need them all to enter school, so following the schedule from the beginning was crucial, unless we were planning to home-school. Even in my young adulthood, I questioned authority a little bit, so I went and looked up the laws. Yup. He was right. So, I thought, “Well, it’s the law, so why bother trying to learn more. There’s nothing I can do anyway.”

So, I was 100% compliant and had no idea that also I would have been 100% compliant by simply signing a waiver as well.

I’m not going to tell you what decisions to make…

Just don’t be fooled.

“No Shots, No School,” is simply, NOT TRUE.








  1. Mary

    I’m going to send my 7th grader to school without the ‘required’ dtap booster. My plan was simply to wait until proof of immunization was requested and give them my waiver instead. Should I wait until then or submit it before the start out school? I just didn’t want to invite a challenge… what do you all think? Thanks!

    • Dawn

      I think they appreciate it and are less crappy if you do it before. I said, “I just really don’t want to make your job hard, so I thought I’d handle this before the deadline and be really confident and nice.

  2. Ana

    Thank you Dawn. We will be moving to Colorado soon and was wondering If I was going to be forced to immunize my son. We haven’t decided if he will be getting any shots as I am still learning and reading as much as I can before he starts school. Its comforting to know that if we move I still have the option to not vaccinate, if that is what we ultimately decide for our son. So… many blessing to you and your family for providing us with such useful information. You are a bloggiing blessing. Thank you. Thank you.

  3. The powers that be are deeply hurt that parents don’t trust them.

    At the same time, they feel that it is okay to deceive parents about the existence of exemptions by omission at the very least and in some cases by actual, outright, unadulterated falsehoods.

    I don’t trust people who hide important information and I especially don’t trust people who lie.

    • Dawn

      I feel the same way. They’re all like, “YOU NEED TO TRUST US.” Then they lie to us and hide stuff from us. If you want us to trust us, disclose all of your information, stop allowing proven fraudulent researchers to continue working for you, knock it off with all the hiding of pertinent information, stop lying about what we are legally obligated to do, and stop acting like we don’t have rights that we clearly, legally, do. And for crying out loud… How about telling us all of the actual possible side effects listed in the prescribing information so that we can actually give informed consent if we choose to.

  4. Amanda

    I am so confused about Iowa’s laws! It only has religious and medical exemptions. I am not religious and there is no medical reason that my kids can’t be vaccinated so will I have to basically lie on the exemption form as to why I don’t want my kids vaccinated so they can go to school?

    • Dawn

      Check around locally for doctors who agree with your vaccine choices. For example a family history of autoimmune disease could be a worry to some doctors. My daughter’s eczema is a serious concern. It’s possible that you will have no legal justification in your state, but a lot of people have potential counterindications for vaccines that no one has told them about.

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