I hate the Health Department.

My son almost got expelled last week. Actually, the term they used was “excluded”, because apparently that’s supposed to sound less painful. Check out this week’s column for the dirt.


  1. Frustrating!!! I bet no one at the school would be calling you every day if your child was struggling either.

  2. I’m proud of you for waiting. Doing what’s best for your child isn’t always easy and some people fight you tooth and nail. Just be proud of yourself for stickin’ to your guns and worrying about his health first. Keep up updated too!

  3. Wow! I thought we had choices on that?

    My friend missed there 2 week appointment cuz they went on vacation to show off their new newborn. She got a phone call three times a day until she brought the baby in! I thought it was just military!

  4. Apparently that nurse has nothing better to do with her time.

  5. I have to agree with Shelley! If your child was struggling at school (bullies/grades) you wouldn’t hear about it until parent teacher conferences. Do you want to “rough up” that nurse, just give me the school and I’m there. No one treats Annie like a delinquent mother.

  6. The school will never tell you this but you can sign a waiver and not get the vaccines (or get them but on your timetable) and there is nothing they can do about it. The worst that would happen is if there is an outbreak of something your kids doesn’t have a shot for they would make him stay home until the outbreak is over.

    I have waivers signed for two of my kids just because I can’t prove they had the shots.

  7. Yep, I was thinking the same thing as Monica. I wasn’t sure if it was just different since we are in WA vs. Utah, but right on the back of the form you fill out your shot record on there’s a box that you can check if you want to be exempt from having to vaccinate. Technically, I think it says something like, “for religious or medical reasons” or something but I don’t think it matters all that much. I have several friends who simply refuse to vaccinate their kids because they don’t trust the government / are worried about autism, etc. They just check the box and their kids go to school hassle free.

  8. One time the school called me and wanted me to take my son to have and additional shot (Hep A I think). He had had the recommended number of doses but they were supposed to be given 6 months apart and his had been a few days less than six months. I went to the school and wrote a letter that said I was morally opposed to giving my child a shot that he had already had simply because it was given a few day too early. They took it and never called me again.

  9. I almost was kicked out of high school for this same reason! I mean, seriously… who keeps their kids’ little yellow card all the way until senior year after they’ve been through their husband dying of cancer and leaving you all alone to raise three kids on no education and no job skill (like my mom)???

  10. I didn’t give my kids the Hepatitis Shot in the hospital. Boy is that a big deal. And we are abusive parents, didn’t you know. I also refused the second chicken pox? shot last year. I told him he wasn’t getting shots, and if that means I have to fight off the nurses, he isn’t getting the dang it all shot. Of course, he is getting that shot next week. I’d better warn him. This means I’m leaving the doctors with two screaming kids as Lauren is also going to be getting shots that visit.

  11. It’s crazy that they can get all nazi on you, but if you cite religious reasons, then it’s all okay. My daughter was getting that letter and then I had to remind the school that the cancer community doesn’t recommend vaccinations for those people without immune systems, like they didn’t know.

  12. That whole vaccination thing is a big deal now days. I am glad my kids are all done school—it wasn’t an issue in the early 1900’s

  13. Thank you for the sweet comment on my blog, Annie! I think I’ve only had one other comment (from my niece several months back!) It was exciting for me and made my day. I have followed your blog for several months now and adore your writing style. You are so witty and clever and genuine.

  14. Denys Gallentine says:

    Hey Annie – Remember me from Elma Ward? I am seriously ticked at this nurse at your sons school. As a mother of a child with autism, I definitely think vaccinations DO have something to do with autism, as well as a host of other problems, such as ADHD, etc. Your friends are right – you have RIGHTS! and so does your son. Just site “religious reasons” and you don’t need to give the shot. I had to go through this last week with my son – I had to sign a waiver at the school saying I agree to take him out if anyone comes down with a sickness that he hasn’t been immunized for. Hey, I’d rather have the measles than Autism!! I have tons of info on my blog if you’d like to take a look (it’s private though), so I’ll have to send an invite. Some people like this nurse, may be just totally blind to the cause of this epidemic, others choose wholeheartedly to ignore the facts. Just look at http://www.generationrescue.org for some amazing FACTS and studies. There are some great alternative vaccination schedules on there as well. You’ve heard the stats, right? 1 in 79 boys are diagnosed with autism in Utah. 1 in 150 kids nationally. Up from 1 in 25,000 just 20 years ago – oh, right about the time mercury was introduced into vaccines. Also – fyi, mercury (thimeresol is still in some vaccinnes, even though the media would have you think otherwise).

  15. I didn’t make my kids wear helmets when they rode their bikes when they were young…or when they rode their scooters, or when they broke into a run. Shame on me!

  16. Totally don’t get it. Here in WA you just have to give the school a record of what vaccs they do and don’t have. No pressure, no nasty school nurse. Brody has never had a HEP B, my Ped said maybe before he turns 12 and may go teen-crazy, but no pressure even from him! I have a friend who’s little girl is starting K this year and she’s never had any! What is up with Utah, the land of the free?

  17. Hi Annie, I loved seeing your beautiful new picture on my blog. You are gorgeous…do people want your autograph? No wait, it’s now, “Can I have a picture with you?” I’ve had people at Church ask me if I follow Annie’s blog, honest girl… you ARE hitting celebrity status. I know, you need to write a book, not read books. I love your column and blog and I’m so glad all I have to do is keep track of my 20 year old.

    Actually, I take that back…6 + almost 15. Ye-ah, you never quit being a mom. I did the ultimate older mom thing, “Aren’t you feeding your children?” “They just ate everything out of the fridge.” I promised myself when I was young… I would never say that, like my mom did to me…it just slipped right out of my pickin’ mouth. And then there’s the grown children pulling me out-of-bed saying, “We’re going for a ride, you need to get out-of-the-house.” I just came home from a cruise, can’t I sleep-in one day? It never really changes, well sorta’ at least it’s not Bevis and Butthead at 5:00 in the morning.