Non-vaccinated school children barred from Calif. schools

A state-imposed deadline requiring that all seventh through 12th graders receive whooping cough booster shots or signed exemptions has forced Calif. schools to send thousands of students home and group others in campus gyms.
As districts hit the deadline in the coming weeks, thousands of additional students will be affected as the schools now require proof of immunizations or exemptions within 30 days of the first day of school, the Sacramento Bee reports.
On Wednesday, district officials from Elk Grove Unified, the largest district in the region with 28,000 students in grades seven through 12, barred 200 students from class until they provided the required paperwork. At the beginning of the week, 700 students lacked the required paperwork and by Thursday evening, the number had dropped to 140.
The Vacaville Unified School District has approximately 1,550 students still in need of vaccinations a week before the deadline. In San Francisco, approximately 2,000 students were sent home on Thursday, the Sacramento Bee reports. Sacramento City Unified needs shot records or exemptions for 6,000 students by its Oct. 6 deadline.
The vaccination legislation was passed last year due to whooping cough, also known as pertussis, reaching epidemic proportions. Ten infants in the state died of the disease last year. While reported cases of whooping cough remain higher than in past years, they have dropped significantly since last year's outbreak from 9,143 in 2010 to 2,164 cases reported through August 10 this year. There have been no whooping cough deaths reported in California this year.
Some districts are letting students without proof or exemptions come to school anyway, though they are putting them in the gym and not their regular classes.
"We will not withhold education from our students," Debbie Bettencourt, Folsom Cordova's superintendant said, according to the Sacramento Bee.