School to consider new exemption in case of child with autism and vaccines

Berkeley Brean
Updated: September 27, 2019 07:04 PM
Created: September 27, 2019 01:01 PM

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — By next week an 11-year-old boy with severe autism could be back in school after being barred for not having certain vaccines.


This all started when Thorn Schwartz's medical exemption was denied by BOCES 1, his school district.

Thorn had the exemption for three years in a row, but because of new state guidelines set this summer, he was denied this year.

So Thorn's dad, who is a lawyer, sued his school principal and doctor.

On Friday, while Thorn waited in the courthouse with his sisters, they worked out a deal with Supreme Court Judge Bill Taylor.

Thorn's doctor is going to submit a new exemption. The school is going to look at it and decide within 24 hours. All this could happen on Monday.

I first met Thorn and his parents at their home in Penn Yan last Friday.

Chief Investigative Reporter Berkeley Brean: Do you feel better now than when we spoke one week ago?

Carl Schwartz, Thorn's father: I feel better now, so much more because we have so much more information and thank you in great part to the work you did in your investigative reporting.

The other option for Thorn is to go back to school as long as he gets the three remaining vaccines within 30 days even though his parents believe that has a terrible impact on his body.

Kerri Schwartz, Thorn's mother: I am concerned about how his body can handle the vaccine. I feel like I'm choosing between Thorn being disrupted by being out of school or Thorn being disrupted by having things put in his body that I don't believe he can handle."

If a new exemption is filed before 1:00 p.m. on Monday afternoon the school agreed to have a ruling by Tuesday.

The judge wants something done by Thursday when they're back in court.

The lawsuit originally included the State Health Commissioner and the BOCES nurse, but the case against them was dismissed.

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