Court ruling: Penn Yan boy with autism can stay in school, NYSDOH overstepped its authority

Berkeley Brean
Updated: April 24, 2020 06:33 PM
Created: April 24, 2020 06:01 PM

PENN YAN, N.Y. (WHEC) — The family of a teenage boy with severe autism won another victory in a legal battle against the New York State Department of Health. 

Since September, News10NBC has covered the story of Thorn Schwartz. 

He and his family live in Penn Yan. 

At the start of the school year, Thorn was banned from his school at BOCES One in Fairport because the school rejected his medical exemption from vaccines. 

The school's decision was based on new rules by the NYSDOH. 

Friday, Supreme Court Judge Dan Doyle ruled, in part, the department overstepped its authority with the rules, and he maintained his order that Thorn be allowed back in school. 

“I don't need to sound glib but it didn't get thrown out and nowadays that's a good thing,” Patricia Finn, Thorn’s family’s attorney, said.

The ruling released Friday says if the state wants to make medical exemptions more vigorous, the legislature needs to do it, not a state agency like the Department of Health. 

When schools open, Thorn will be allowed back in.

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