Acceptance of diversity

Hooray for tolerance and acceptance and general friendliness, right? Including for parents who don’t vaccinate their children, including when you are a parent with children in the same school, right?

It’s right according to the principal of Brunswick North West Primary in Melbourne, Trevor Bowen. Slate quotes from his message to parents:

We expect all community members to act respectfully and with tolerance when interacting with other parents and carers who may have a differing opinion to their own. This includes an opposing understanding about child immunisation.

People from both sides of the discussion have expressed their thoughts in terms of the wellbeing and ongoing health of the children they care so much for. This is most admirable. I ask all community members to interact respectfully at all times and with a sense of tolerance and acceptance of diversity.

That’s a mindless thing to say. It’s a little like saying that all “community members” should “interact respectfully at all times and with a sense of tolerance and acceptance of diversity” with parents who let their children bring large sharp heavy knives to school and carry them around all day.

That school is dealing with an outbreak of chicken pox. The Age reports:

One in four of the children who attend a Brunswick school that calls for tolerance for vaccine dodgers has contracted chickenpox.

At least 80 of the 320 pupils at Brunswick North West Primary in Melbourne’s north have become ill with the disease in the past fortnight.

The school has a lower immunisation rate than the state and national averages.

In the May newsletter, the school’s principal Trevor Bowen said 73.2 per cent of students were immunised, compared with 92 per cent within the local postcode.

But they’re a friendly tolerant community, so it’s totally worth it.

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