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Family of child with autism seeks permanent order that he can go back to school with medical vaccine exemption

Berkeley Brean
Created: February 21, 2020 06:08 PM

PENN YAN, N.Y. (WHEC) — The young boy with autism who was removed from school over vaccines was in a courtroom Friday with his parents taking on the state of New York. 

This is a story News10NBC has been telling you about since the start of the school year. 

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13-year-old Thorn Schwartz was barred from school in September when his school, Monroe One BOCES, denied his medical exemption for vaccines. 

The school did it based on new, tougher regulations set by the State Department of Health in August 2019.

If Thorn Schwartz wins this case it could have an impact on a major state health policy on vaccines.

Thorn arrived at the Yates County court building Friday afternoon. 

When he got there, there was a rally outside, including other families whose children are fighting over their medical exemptions. 

Thorn and everyone else filed into the courtroom. 

Thorn’s dad, Carl Schwartz, a lawyer, got up to challenge the state after the state lawyer and lawyer for Monroe One BOCES, Thorn’s school, made their arguments. 

Heather McKay, NYS Assistant Attorney General: “DOH has not played any role in the determination regarding this particular students medical exemption application.”

Kelly Foss, Attorney for Monroe One BOCES: “Boces and Mr. Frenzel want this child to return to school in compliance with all applicable laws and regulations.”

Carl Schwartz, father, Attorney: “It’s disingenuous to me that Department of Health can act like it has nothing to do with this case when in fact my son has had medical exemptions for years. He’s been in public institutions for years. And the only reason that he’s not in school today is because the commissioner woke up on August 16 of 2019 and decided he was going to change the rules.”

Carl Schwartz, father, Attorney: “The mathematics of these cases, we are the super, super minority of the most severely disabled cases in the state. If a medical exemption does not apply to Thorn Sterling Schwartz there’s nobody that’s going to get one.”

The judge in this case is Dan Doyle from Monroe County. 

He signed an order making Thorn go back to school at the start of the month. 

Thorn’s family wants him to make that permanent and strike down the state regulations too. 

We should expect a written decision in a month. 


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