Group demands in-person classes for unvaccinated children
By John McPhaul
Pro-Life and Family Coalition President Mario Rosario Maisonet called on Gov. Pedro Pierluisi Urrutia on Monday to offer face-to-face classes for children whose parents decide not to have them vaccinated against the coronavirus.
“The Coalition defends the fundamental freedom and the natural human right of parents as having primary exclusive authority in the upbringing, education and care of children,” Rosario Maisonet said in a written statement. “Emphasizing that in Puerto Rico the right to education has constitutional status, the Coalition calls on Gov. Pedro Pierluisi to amend his action and exercise the equity that he promulgates, as well as respect and non-discrimination in this particular matter. The Coalition calls on the state to guarantee the constitutional right to education and in its face-to-face modality under equal conditions for all students.”
Pierluisi has established as a requirement for going to school in person that minors from 5 to 17 years old, as well as teaching and non-teaching staff in schools, are vaccinated against COVID-19.
“The role of the Coalition is not to encourage and/or promote one action over another, whether it is to vaccinate or not vaccinate,” Rosario Maisonet said. “Only parents have the right to decide the course of medical action on minors. The decision of all medical aspects rests with the parents, in this case to vaccinate them or not. It is the parents, based on their freedom of conscience and a weighted analysis by going to the health professionals they trust, who are called upon to exercise their judgment in the particular circumstance of their own child.”
Rosario Maisonet continued: “The Coalition is consistent with the postulate that: The children are not of the state.”
“The members of the Coalition are united in that each citizen has equal freedom to decide and equal opportunities in health, education and security for himself and for his/her children,” he said in his statement. “The members of the Coalition are united in that, if the obligation of the state obstructs the freedom of conscience or religion, also entailing the denial of teaching … in its face-to-face modality, it is a very delicate and potentially dangerous precedent that undermines the precious democratic balance.”