Tennessee High School Will Exempt Students Who Get COVID-19 Vaccine from Final Exams


A Chattanooga boys preparatory school emailed students that they could skip a final exam and go maskless if they got the COVID-19 vaccine. Parents reportedly didn’t receive the email about the vaccination incentive, which also required that 500 students receive the vaccine. This information also didn’t make it to the school’s press release concerning the vaccine.

Publicly, McCallie School shared that it would be mandating the COVID-19 vaccine come fall. In their official announcement, McCallie School shared that they would mandate the COVID-19 vaccine. Nowhere did they mention that vaccinated students would receive a special exemption from the final exam of their choice and school mask mandates.

McCallie Head of School Lee Burns asserted that the mandate was a “logical, socially responsible extension” of the school’s student health policy.

“The CDC, the FDA, the Hamilton County Health Department, the National Association of Independent Schools, physicians with whom we’ve consulted, and many other health and educational professionals – all of them strongly recommend vaccinations,” said Burns.

McCallie noted that they would allow vaccine exemptions for medical, religious, moral, or ethical reasons.

Technically, Tennessee law allows certain minors to receive vaccinations without parental knowledge or consent. According to the “mature minor” doctrine and the “Rule of Sevens,” there exists a rebuttable presumption that minors between the ages of 7 and 14 have no capacity to make those health-related decisions. Meaning: health care providers could potentially vaccinate minors aged 7 to 14 without parental knowledge or consent, in the absence of a law expressly prohibiting it.

Whereas, no rebuttable presumption of capacity exists for minors aged 14 to 17 – those minors could get the vaccine without parental consent, unless the physician believes the minor lacks the maturity to make the decision independently.

That legal doctrine arose out of a 1987 court case, Cardwell v. Bechtol, in which a minor sought medical treatment on her own for back problems. Certain treatments are prohibited under the mature minor doctrine, such as juvenile drug abuse treatment, emergency situations, STD treatments, and prenatal care.

The Tennessee Star attempted to contact McCallie School spokespersons about the vaccination incentive multiple times. The school didn’t respond by press time.

– – –

Corinne Murdock is a reporter at The Tennessee Star and the Star News Network. Follow her latest on Twitter, or email tips to [email protected].





Related posts

3 Thoughts to “Tennessee High School Will Exempt Students Who Get COVID-19 Vaccine from Final Exams”

  1. 83ragtop50

    The mature minor doctrine is a slap in the face of all parents. And it appears that the Tennessee Department of Health is scurrying to keep from having to publicly defend it.

    As for this school. It sounds like a liberal haven for the wealthy. No school should be legally permitted to coerce parents and students to get a vaccine, period. I would object ethically if I had a student there. But it appears that this school’s leadership (I use that term very loosely) knows nothing about ethics.

  2. mike

    The concept of punishing a student academically for a medical decision they make is unconscionable. The school district should never make these decisions without parental permission. I consider the Governor and the state legislators responsible for allowing this to happen. It is their responsibility to protect the citizens from this type of behavior and they should speak out against this and prevent this from happening.

  3. Traditional Thinker

    First of all, this idiot should be fired and then fired again, and if I were a parent I’d sue the crap out of the school. How far are people going to be allowed to go before this insanity and human power grab is over? Obviously the liberals are doing everything in their power to initiate a civil war, or just maybe the vaccine is how they are successfully controlling the population. Personally I would rather take my chances and live by faith then be murdered by a man made vaccine and or weapon. I would rather trust in He who created this earth than he who created this vaccine.