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10 May 2019

An American teenager who unsuccessfully sued his school over his ant-vaccination stance has been struck with the chickenpox virus.

Eighteen-year-old Jerome Kunkel made headlines around the world earlier this year for taking legal action against his Kentucky school Our Lady of the Sacred Heart Assumption Academy.

The lawsuit was challenging the ban the school had placed on him and other students who had not been immunised at the time a chickenpox outbreak swept the school.

More than 30 students at the school were afflicted with the virus during the outbreak.

Mr Kunkel’s case was that the school ban was wrong and that his rights were violated because the vaccine was ‘immoral, illegal and sinful’.

The teenager and his family said the vaccines were derived from aborted foetuses and therefore were against their beliefs.

The Northern Kentucky Health Department excluded students from school classes and extracurricular activities from mid-March, which obviously bolstered the school’s position.

The ban came just as the school’s basketball team, which the teenager was a part of, was about to play in state-wide finals.

But the Kentucky judge who heard the case, backed health and school officials and said the teenager did not have the right to play sports.

The student said he was devastated over the court’s ruling.

Since then, he has contracted the chickenpox virus, but through his lawyer has stated he has no regrets over the legal action he took, or the decision to remain unvaccinated.

CHRIS JOHNSON 


Published: 10 May 2019