Students Miss First Day Of School Due To Lack of Immunizations
Out of the classroom and into the clinic. Under a new state law, new students are not permitted to enroll on the first day of school without their immunizations. Before, students were given a 30 day grace period. So, how has this affected our East Texas students? The immunization clinic of the Northeast Texas Health District is where many children spent the first day of school. "We had a lot of people at the doors at 8 o'clock this morning," said Clinic Director Daisy Hicks. Texas law now requires all newly enrolled students to be current on their immunizations by the first day of school. "I was all ready to go to school this morning and I got turned around," said 15-year-old Tamara Williams. Many parents said they were unaware of the new law. "They told me that everything had to be current," said Felicia Lee, who brought her 7-year-old son Issac to the clinic. "I found out when I came here this week that he was not current according to this new rule." Margaret Pack said she recieved a reminder notice from her stepson's school through the mail Tuesday, but said ample timing would have been better. "A lot of kids are probably out of school today and he could have caught the bus this morning but he wasn't able to," she said. Tyler ISD Head Nurse Nancy Jones said Tyler students were informed of the changes last May. "We are really sorry if that has happened," said Jones. "Notes were out to students who were in our school district last year, expressing to them that over the summer immunizations would be needed." Nurse Jones said new students can enroll as soon as they can provide proof of their shots. "We will work with you, we will try to help you get your records and hope that everyone understands this is not just a TISD rule, it is a state wide rule." She wants parents to keep in mind, it's all in an effort to keep your kids healthy and in the classroom. There are some exceptions to the rule, students transferring from other Texas schools, or students with a medical or religious exemption. The Northeast Texas Public Health District will continue to offer free immunizations from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. until this Friday. It's located at 815 North Broadway in Tyler.