School Exclusions During Outbreaks

School exclusions of non-vaccinated children during times of outbreak

Disclaimer: Information provided on this page is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as medical or legal advice.

Using an exemption is not an agreement to automatically accept exclusion from school during an outbreak. Certain conditions must exist for exclusions to be legal. Following any exclusion request that does not follow proper procedures is voluntary.

Exclusions can have negative emotional, mental, and academic impacts on the excluded child. Adequate support is critical at times of exclusion, and the law must be followed.

We encourage parents whose school districts do not yet have adequate support in place to bring a copy of Spokane’s Central Valley School District’s Student Support Protocols for Exclusion of Non-vaccinated Students to their school boards, and request they adopt a similar protocol.

We also encourage parents to research their rights and speak with their local Health Officer, and their own trusted legal counsel, to ensure proper procedure happens.

  • There is no law (RCW) or rule (WAC) in WA that creates a special type of involuntary quarantine of exempt students during an outbreak called an “exclusion”, with unlimited time frames and no right for the quarantined/excluded to petition for relief.
  • The right to be exempt from vaccination is absolute and unconditional if the exemption paperwork is properly completed.
  • Unless a Health Officer imposes a legally warranted and properly executed quarantine, healthy children, no matter their vaccination status, must be allowed to attend school if they have the proper paperwork on file. Sick children, no matter their vaccination status, should be kept home from school in keeping with current health regulations.
  • The check box on the exemption form, (I understand that my child may be excluded during an outbreak), does not constitute an agreement to exclude during an outbreak, or the forfeiture of the due process rights protecting citizens from illegal detentions.
  • An involuntary school quarantine/exclusion must conform to the definitions, requirements and limitations of WAC 246-100-040.
  • Health Officer may only impose a maximum 10-day involuntary quarantine, and the order must notify the quarantined party of their right to petition for relief.

Printable School exclusion letter

Pertinent WA State laws:

RCW 70.05.070 Local health officer—Powers and duties.

WAC 246-100-040 Procedures for isolation or quarantine.

WAC 246-110-020 Control of contagious disease.

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