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Religious Exemption for Students and Employees
The religious exemption forms are now provided by the health department for all students. Here you can download the one for K-12. For some reason, the forms vary slightly or college and university. Currently, the form requires parents to initial 4 statements. The first two are incriminating and we suggest not signing them. The last 2 are simply stating what the statute and regulations say, so you're probably ok to sign them. Obviously, we all feel that we should not ever have to use an exemption since vaccination should just always be a choice. Also, there is the argument that the fact that this form created by the Health Department is required is only a Nevada Administrative Code and not Law- so we should not have to sign it. We should only have to do what the LAW says, which is write a simply statement that you are exercising your right to religious exemption according to NRS 392.437. You do what you feel is right. In the currently climate, we are fighting just to have RE's accepted at colleges, and NOT go through a review process. So fighting that we shouldn't even need an exemption at this stage of the game seems like a long shot to me (personally) at this point.
Below is the letter we wrote to UNR regarding their illegal process of "review" of all exemptions. We are hopefully going to be entering into a conversation with them this week. We will keep you posted.
As for religious exemption for adults, that is more complicated. Here are the best resources for going about this.
Our letter to UNR, Friday Oct 8, 2021
Thank you for your call today. I represent an organization that advocates for families’ rights to parental choice, religious freedom and informed consent.We have been contacted by innumerable families who are very concerned by the University of Nevada Reno's process of “reviewing and considering” religious and medical exemption to vaccinations. Nevada law provides students from child care through university to exercise their right to religious and medical exemption to any vaccinations. There is no verbiage, statute nor administrative code outlining a review or application process. This is a right that CANNOT be refused. Telling students their exemptions are to be submitted for review is inaccurate if the letter of the law is to be followed. Nevada System of Higher Education cannot initiate a process of review and acceptance or denial, as this goes against NRS and NAC. NSHE cannot make laws, and cannot make up their own process of acceptance of a right that is guaranteed in Nevada Law. There is nothing in the law that states the religious exemption must meet certain standards. Nor is there anywhere in the law that says the religious exemption is provisional. There is certainly nowhere in law that states that a doctor’s decision regarding their patient’s inability to receive a vaccination is up for discussion. A medical exemption is granted simply with the signature of the doctor and parent. This is not up for interpretation, review or acceptance by bureaucrats at a university. Similarly, the religious exemption is an exemption that only requires that the students submit a written statement that “their religious belief prohibits immunization”. No reasoning is required, no explanation can be requested and NO review process is legal under this law.We strongly urge you to cease and desist any review process for both religious and medical exemptions submitted to UNR. You are violating both Nevada law and doctor- patient privilege by putting yourself in a position of deciding if a student deserves the religious OR medical exemption.We ask that you immediately contact those students who have submitted their exemption already to tell them that their exemption does not need approval and they can attend UNR. For any future exemptions, we ask that you make the process and the explanation of the process such that they simply need to turn in their one (1) form and they are done.Further, the three lines on the religious exemption form asking for an explanation of the student’s religious beliefs and why they prohibit them from vaccination is unlawful for reasons stated above: the law does not require an explanation and is not up for review or acceptance. The student only needs to state that they are exercising their right under the below NRS and NAC. Asking for ADDITIONAL written explanation from the students is tantamount to asking them to beg for something that is theirs by law. We ask that your process and explanation of your process simply be to fill out the singular form and simply state as their explanation that “they are exercising their right to religious exemption under NRS 392.437 and NAC441A.755." Any further requirements for additional explanation is outside the letter of the law. In fact the 3 lines and explanation section should be removed.We will take legal action if this issue is not resolved.
NRS 392.437 Immunization of pupils: Exemption if prohibited by religious belief. A public school shall not refuse to enroll a child as a pupil because the child has not been immunized pursuant to NRS 392.435 if the parents or guardian of the child has submitted to the board of trustees of the school district or the governing body of a charter school in which the child has been accepted for enrollment a written statement indicating that their religious belief prohibits immunization of such child or ward. (Added to NRS by 1971, 1040; A 1997, 1876)NRS 392.439 Immunization of pupils: Exemption if prevented by medical condition. If the medical condition of a child will not permit the child to be immunized to the extent required by NRS 392.435 and a written statement of this fact is signed by a licensed physician and by the parents or guardian of the child, the board of trustees of the school district or governing body of the charter school in which the child has been accepted for enrollment shall exempt the child from all or part of the provisions of NRS 392.435, as the case may be, for enrollment purposes. (Added to NRS by 1971, 1040; A 1997, 1877)NAC 441A.755 University students: Proof of immunity to certain communicable diseases required; exceptions; exclusion from university. (NRS 441A.120)1. Except as otherwise provided in subsection 10 or unless excused because of religious belief or medical condition, a person shall not attend a university until he submits to the university proof of immunity to tetanus, diphtheria, measles, mumps, rubella and any other disease specified by the State Board of Health. The Division shall establish the immunization schedule required for admission of the student.2. Except as otherwise provided in subsection 10 or unless excused because of religious belief or medical condition, a person who: (a) Is less than 23 years of age; and (b) Is enrolled as a freshman; shall not reside in on-campus housing after September 1, 2008, until he submits to the university proof of immunity to Neisseria meningitidis.3. A student may enroll in the university conditionally if the student, or if the student is a minor, the parent or legal guardian of the student, submits a record of immunization stating that the student is in the process of obtaining the required immunizations, and that record shows that the student has made satisfactory progress toward obtaining those immunizations.4. The university shall retain the proof of immunity on a computerized record or on a form provided by the Division.5. The university shall not refuse to enroll a student because he has not been immunized if the student, or if the student is a minor, the parent or legal guardian of the student, has submitted to the university a written statement indicating that his religious belief prohibits immunizations. The university shall keep the statement on file.6. If the medical condition of a student does not permit him to be immunized to the extent required, the student, or if the student is a minor, the parent or legal guardian of the student, must submit to the university a statement of that fact written by a licensed physician. The university shall keep the statement on file.7. If additional requirements of immunity are imposed by law after a student has been enrolled in the university, the student, or if the student is a minor, the parent or legal guardian of the student, shall submit an additional proof of immunity to the university stating that the student has met the new requirements of immunity.8. If the health authority determines that, at the university, there is a case having a communicable disease against which immunity is required for admission to the university, and a student who has not submitted proof of immunity to that disease is attending that university, the president of the university shall require that:(a) The student be immunized;or (b) The student be excluded from the university until allowed to return by the health authority.9. A student shall not attend a university from which he is excluded until allowed to return by the health authority. The parent or legal guardian of a student, if the student is a minor, shall not allow the student to attend a university from which he is excluded until allowed to return by the health authority. 10. Any student who is enrolled in a program of distance education and who does not attend a class on campus is exempt from the requirements of this section.11. As used in this section: (a) “On-campus housing” means a dormitory or other student residence that is owned, operated by or located on the campus of a university. (b) “Postsecondary educational institution” has the meaning ascribed to it in NRS 394.099. (c) “University” means any university within the Nevada System of Higher Education or any private postsecondary educational institution that provides on-campus housing. (Added to NAC by Bd. of Health, eff. 1-24-92; A 10-22-93; R079-06, 7-14-2006; R099-07, 10-31-2007)Thank you,Health Freedom Nevada