Third-grader Randy Hayes has been sent home from Idaho Falls' A.H. Bush Elementary School because he was not immunized against childhood diseases.
"I don't want to go home," the boy said after he was told Monday he was barred from school.Bush Principal Robert Freeman said he dislikes sending children home but knows of no better way to gain compliance with a new state immunization law.
"It's in the best interest of the kids; it's a matter of their health and well-being," he said.
The law says parents must provide proof of immunization within 60 days of admission to school or their children will be excluded. The law includes kindergarten through fifth grade and was enforced Monday in Bonneville and Idaho Falls school districts.
Social worker Steve Bernotski, who took the Hayes boy home, said his father said he forgot about the exclusion notice sent home Friday.
"I offered to help him do it," Bernotski said. "He said he'd help (his son) tomorrow."
Judy Cook, school district health care coordinator, said by Monday, only 25 students in the district were not in compliance with the law and most were absent. That is down from 60 Friday and 326 two weeks ago.