Immunizations: 100+ Roswell students in jeopardy of not being allowed back to school

Education

ROSWELL, N.M. (KRQE) – School has been hard enough for parents, teachers, and kids this semester. More than 100 students may not be allowed back to remote learning next semester in Southeast News Mexico School District.

It is not about COVID-19 it is about immunizations. “Majority of our students that are non-compliant are Pre-K since they are newly enrolled students and our enrollment process was much different this year,” said Katie McClain the Nursing Supervisor for the Roswell Independent School District.

The Roswell Independent School District announced they will have to drop 105 students on December 31 if the students don’t get the state-required immunizations to attend public school. McClain said the biggest issue is parents just don’t feel safe getting them right now because of the pandemic.

“We’ve made multiple contacts with almost all of our families, most of the things we’re seeing is they are afraid of going to the doctor because they’re afraid of contracting COVID, and some honestly just don’t see the need to so, since they are from home, virtual learners that they don’t see the reason of doing it right now,” said McClain.

McClain says the majority of students on the list are new enrollee’s for Pre-K, but another large portion of students are 7th-graders. The 7th-graders are required to have updated tetanus and meningitis shots.

She said they have been working to get these children up to state requirements. “I think this year it’s extra painful because we see the struggles that our kids are facing and we don’t want to just shut the door on them, I just think that’s what I’ve heard a lot of this year is just even more painful we don’t want to lose any of our students,” said McClain.

Assistant Superintendent Jennifer Cole said it breaks her heart that they might have to turn away a hundred children from learning opportunities. “We don’t want to turn any students away from our learning, we want all of our students engaged in learning whether it’s remote or whether it’s in person we want them here.”

Immunizations are required by state law but parents can petition the state Health Department to opt out citing religious reasons or health concerns.

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