Wednesday, February 11, 2015

#WeirdEd Week 43- Vaccines

I'm not going to tackle whether or not vaccines cause autism or any of the other claims of the anti-vax community. Why would I? Facts is facts and willful ignorance should not be encouraged or given much audience.

However, it's a great in for a chat about education. About government intervention and spreading ideas and preventing their spread. It's a good topic for hard questions like what would you do if you knew an unvaccinated child was in your class? What if you had a newborn at home? It's a good topic for talking about globalization. It's a good topic for, as @AGoTeach suggested, talking about Newton's Third Law. Without googling, I'm pretty confident that's the one about time travel being possible if you fly backwards around the Earth fast enough.

I asked my school secretary what our policy on vaccines for students was and this is her response:

"We do ask for the vaccination record when they enroll, but by the Oregon Law, we must allow them to enroll without any documentation.  When it comes to the "exclusion date", mid February, we will exclude a student if they can't provide documentation that they are either current or up to date with their vaccinations. If a parent wants to opt out of vaccinating their child, they can no longer just sign the opt out waiver, they must take some training online and provide us with a certificate of proof of the training, or they must have a doctor's note stating that their child can not be immunized for a particular reason. Hope this helps."

I don't want to pick an ideological fight. I'm not going to shy away from a question or two about it because these are real things that really impact us in our real classrooms. And I expect, like always, the #WeirdEd family to be respectful of all viewpoints. However, I'm not going to pretend I'm neutral. Welcome to the chat, where I'm rarely subtle on the big issues we tackle.

We can once again show how smart w are together, how we can make edchats so much more than they sometimes are. How no topic is off limits and hard topics approached respectfully and openly can yield learning that yes, can be taking directly from twitter into the classroom. An edchat doesn't have to be explicitly about Teaching to be about teaching. This is another experiment to prove that hypothesis. Thank you for coming to play.

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