Unvaccinated teenager for chickenpox sues Kentucky health ministry after being banned from extracurricular school


A high school student from Kentucky is suing the Northern Kentucky Department of Health and other officials of his state's health department after an outbreak of chicken pox in his private school led to his removal from school. # 39; basketball team of the school.

Jerome Kunkel, an 18-year-old student at the Assumption Academy in Walton, Kentucky, filed a lawsuit against the Ministry of Health on Thursday at the Boone County Circuit Court.

The lawsuit alleges that the department violated Kunkel's freedom of religion and other rights after the health department banned unvaccinated students from attending Assumption Academy and other classes. Assumption Academy Notre-Dame neighbor.

Both schools are private Catholic institutions.

The ban was implemented on March 14, according to a statement from the North Kentucky Department of Health. Schools have been fighting chicken pox since the beginning of the epidemic in February; 32 cases involved just over 100 students from the Academy Our Lady of Assumption.

In order to contain the illness required by the KYHD, "all students without proof of vaccination or evidence of immunity to chickenpox will only be allowed to go to school 21 days after the beginning of the year." eruption of the last student or member of the sick staff. " The ban also applied to "all school events and extracurricular activities involving other schools or the public".

In addition, "all school events and extracurricular activities involving other schools or the public" were canceled until three weeks after the onset of symptoms by the last student or staff member.

"These events include all cases where students of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart / Academy of the Assumption go to other schools / public spaces, or that the public / other schools go to our Lady of the Sacred Heart / Academy of the Assumption.are not limited to sporting events (including games at home and outdoors), fairs, festivals, musical events, etc. ., indicates the opinion.

According to Kunkel, no student or member of Assumption Academy staff has been diagnosed with chicken pox.

according to Cincinnati.comKunkel, a member of the Assumption Academy basketball team, learned he could not play sports because he had not been vaccinated against chicken pox.

"The fact that I can not finish my last year in basketball, as in our last two games, is rather devastating, I mean, you spend four years playing basketball in high school, you're looking forward to your senior year" said Kunkel. says WLWT.

Kunkel was not vaccinated because of his religious beliefs, as well as those of his family, according to the lawsuit.

"Among the other fundamental and deep-rooted religious beliefs of Mr. Kunkel and his family, it is stated that the use of any vaccine derived from aborted fetal cells is immoral, illegal and culpable," reads the statement. pursuit.

Although current varicella vaccines do not use fetal cells, the initial vaccination created in the 1960s, as well as several other vaccines, were developed using aborted fetal cells.

Bill Kunkel, Jerome Kunkel's father, told WXIX-TV that he had tried to talk to the health department of Northern Kentucky before the complaint was filed, but that the department did not want to move.

"It's terrible that they can do it in this free country," said Bill Kunkel.

Kunkel's lawsuit also states that a health department official protested to the family with religious animosity, writing in an e-mail: "Without definitive proof of immunity, a person could be a source of Potential exposure, even if it is currently in good health. Know how one will react to chickenpox, so one must be very cautious, "reports Cincinnati.com.

"We are aware of the lawsuit brought by Jerome Kunkel and wish to declare that the actions undertaken by the Ministry of Health with regard to the Assumption Academy were conducted in accordance with the law. The legal charge of this agency to protect public health, "said KYHD in March. 15: "The recent actions taken by the Northern Kentucky Department of Health regarding the outbreak of chickenpox at Notre Dame du Sacré-Coeur / Assumption Academy were a direct response to a public health threat and constituted a reaction. appropriate and necessary to prevent the spread of this disease.

The suit seeks an undisclosed amount for damages.

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