Unvaccinated student sues over being benched during outbreak

WALTON, Ky. (AP) — An unvaccinated student at a school trying to contain a chickenpox outbreak is suing because he’s been barred from extracurricular activities.

News outlets report 18-year-old student Jerome Kunkle is accusing the Northern Kentucky Health Department of violating his First Amendment rights.

More than 30 Our Lady of Assumption Academy students have fallen ill since February. The department said Friday that students without proof of vaccination or immunity against chickenpox can’t attend school or its activities until 21 days after the last infection.

Kunkle and his father, Bill, say vaccines violate their religious beliefs because cell lines derived from aborted fetuses are involved in their production.

The National Catholic Bioethics Center says these vaccines don’t actually contain aborted cells, so Catholics are “morally free” to use them to protect human life.