Kentucky judge rules against unvaccinated student in lawsuit

U.S. & World
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WALTON, Ky. (AP) — A Kentucky judge has ruled against a student who sued after he wasn’t allowed to play basketball because he wasn’t vaccinated for chickenpox.

In the lawsuit against the Northern Kentucky Health Department, 18-year-old Jerome Kunkel claimed the vaccine is against his religious beliefs.

WXIX-TV in Cincinnati reports Boone County Circuit Judge James R. Schrand on Tuesday denied Kunkel’s request to return to school activities.

A health department statement said it must protect the whole community, particularly those most susceptible.

Kunkel’s lawyer contended he faced discrimination because of his religious beliefs. Attorney Chris Wiest said Tuesday that Kunkel is disappointed in the ruling and will review his options.

An outbreak of 32 chickenpox cases at Our Lady of the Sacred Heart and Assumption Academy prompted the ban. Kunkel has been out of school since March 15.

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