Editorial: A small dose of reality

Some of the reaction to the Langley school district’s decision to ask parents whether their children have been immunized has been more silly than surprising, with a few anti-vaxxers expressing outrage at the board’s audacity in voting to request the information.

Predictably, the people who have no issue with the request have been fairly silent on the matter. As with most things, it’s those who are upset that tend to be the loudest.

To be fair, the outrage has been limited, but two points that — apparently — need to be made are:

One: nobody is demanding that children be vaccinated in order to be allowed to attend classes in the Langley public schools system and;

Two: parents are not required to provide the information to the district. They are simply being asked to provide it voluntarily, so that in the event of an outbreak of a preventable disease, parents will be able to keep their unvaccinated children at home.

This would have the obvious and important benefit of keeping illness from spreading as far as it otherwise might.

But it also makes sense for the safety of the individual child, whose parent or parents have made the decision not to immunize.

Breaking down the pros and cons of immunization, well, that is a whole other discussion. And it’s one we won’t get into here.

But if a parent (or guardian) who has neither been forced to vaccinate their child, nor to reveal their decision to forgo immunization to school district officials — and stands behind the decision not to vaccinate — one has to wonder where the root of that anger, however limited in scope, lies.

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