Lawsuit filed after chickenpox outbreak keeps teen off basketball court

A Northern Kentucky family is suing their health department because of an issue with the chickenpox vaccine. Bill Kunkel said his son Jerome, 18, is being discriminated against because of his religious beliefs regarding a vaccine for chickenpox.Jerome is a student at Our Lady of the Sacred Heart/Assumption Academy in Walton, Kentucky. “I don’t believe in that vaccine at all and they are trying to push it on us,” Bill Kunkle said. They say the belief is derived from their Christianity. The Health Department said the chickenpox vaccine is the best way to prevent becoming ill and spreading the varicella virus. They said it is very safe and prevents almost all cases of severe illness. Ensure all members of your household are up to date on all vaccinations. The Northern Kentucky Health Department said that all students without proof of vaccination or proof of immunity against chickenpox will not be allowed to attend school until 21 days after the onset of a rash for the last ill student or staff member. In addition, all school events and extracurricular activities involving other schools or the public will continue to be canceled.Jerome Kunkel is a basketball player. He said he was told he couldn’t play sports, but will be allowed to attend school after the required waiting period. “The fact that I can’t finish my senior year in basketball, like, our last couple of games, it’s pretty devastating. I mean, you go through four years of high school playing basketball you look forward to your senior year,” he said.On Friday, a meeting was held at Assumption with parents and school administrators. No one offered any comments to the media.There is a mandatory vaccination program, and there’s an exemption if someone has a religious objection. The attorney representing the Kunkel family said his clients filled out the forms.The school was closed Friday. A court hearing is set for April 1.

A Northern Kentucky family is suing their health department because of an issue with the chickenpox vaccine.

Bill Kunkel said his son Jerome, 18, is being discriminated against because of his religious beliefs regarding a vaccine for chickenpox.

Jerome is a student at Our Lady of the Sacred Heart/Assumption Academy in Walton, Kentucky.

“I don’t believe in that vaccine at all and they are trying to push it on us,” Bill Kunkle said. They say the belief is derived from their Christianity.

The Health Department said the chickenpox vaccine is the best way to prevent becoming ill and spreading the varicella virus. They said it is very safe and prevents almost all cases of severe illness. Ensure all members of your household are up to date on all vaccinations.

The Northern Kentucky Health Department said that all students without proof of vaccination or proof of immunity against chickenpox will not be allowed to attend school until 21 days after the onset of a rash for the last ill student or staff member. In addition, all school events and extracurricular activities involving other schools or the public will continue to be canceled.

Jerome Kunkel is a basketball player. He said he was told he couldn’t play sports, but will be allowed to attend school after the required waiting period.

“The fact that I can’t finish my senior year in basketball, like, our last couple of games, it’s pretty devastating. I mean, you go through four years of high school playing basketball you look forward to your senior year,” he said.

On Friday, a meeting was held at Assumption with parents and school administrators. No one offered any comments to the media.

There is a mandatory vaccination program, and there’s an exemption if someone has a religious objection. The attorney representing the Kunkel family said his clients filled out the forms.

The school was closed Friday. A court hearing is set for April 1.

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