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Judge Denies UA Students’ Appeal To Vaccination Policy

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(AP) — A judge has denied two University of Arkansas students’ request to block a public health decree that has barred them from attending classes during a mumps outbreak because they don’t have the proper vaccinations.

The Arkansas Department of Health issued a public health directive Nov. 22 that said students who do not have the proper measles, mumps and rubella vaccinations must be vaccinated immediately or be excluded from classes for at least 26 days.

The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports that Washington County Circuit Judge Doug Martin on Tuesday denied brothers Shiloh and Benjamin Bemis’ request to be allowed back in classes without obtaining vaccinations.

According to the students’ petition, the university “failed to recognize and uphold” their “philosophical beliefs as enrolled students.”

The petition also states that due to the directive from the ADH, the students’ “opportunities to participate and succeed as students at the closing of this semester have been jeopardized.”

The students also cite financial concerns saying “tuition that has been paid (by means of scholarship or family resources) is in jeopardy due to the untimeliness of this directive.”

In the petition the Bemis’ state that make-up work, online resources and individual learning settings that the university has provided for students who are not vaccinated are not adequate substitutions for the average learning environments.

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