Judge rules in favor of Orchard Park schools in case of unvaccinated students

Local News

A judge has ruled in favor of the Orchard Park School District in the case of two students who remained unvaccinated due to religious reasons.

The 13 and 15-year-old daughters of Marina Williams were kicked out of school since their vaccines were not up to date.

The girls have been out of school for two months after moving from West Seneca to Orchard Park in October.

The family went to court in an effort to compel the school district to provide some kind of alternate education for the girls, and Frank Housh, Williams’ lawyer said that means getting them a tutor, home schooling or teaching them online.

“New York’s compulsory education requirements mean that because the Orchard Park School District excluded these children from the schoolhouse they still had an olbigation to continue to educate them.”

State Supreme Court Justice Mark Grisanti was not convinced by Housh’s argument, and the school district’s attorney, Andrew Freedman said it is a matter of protecting all of Orchard Park’s students.

“The district takes student health and safety incredibly serious, and we are glad that the judge saw the school district’s position as being correct.”

Marina Williams admitted her daughters had been previously vaccinated, at a time that she “veered” from her religion, but that does not affect her beliefs now.

“Religion as stated actually, and my personal belief, is between you and God. It does not involve anyone else, it should not be judged by anyone else, and is no one’s business what religion I am.”

After the ruling, the family said they will continue to pursue the case, but it is not clear what their exact intentions are.

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