DENVER (CBS4) – Administrators at a school in Denver have told unvaccinated students to stay home after a case of chickenpox at Merrill Middle School.

The school is located at Florida Avenue and Monroe Street not far from Colorado Boulevard.

CBS4’s Lauren DiSpirito interviewed parents about decision. She found nearly all of the parents support the district’s decision and want all students vaccinated, but others recognize that it’s a parent’s choice.

Denver Public Schools sent a letter home to parents letting them know one Merrill Middle School student came down with chickenpox and it asked that all students who haven’t been vaccinated for it to stay home for three weeks, the incubation period when chickenpox could spread to others. That’s approximately 35 students at the school.

Merrill Middle School map

Some of the students just weren’t up to date and have since gotten the vaccine, but there are 14 students who attend the school whose parents signed exemption forms that are allowed under Colorado law.

While one parent said he thought it was wrong to keep children out of school for so long, most said they support the move to protect other children.

“I can’t bring peanuts to school because kids have allergies, so you shouldn’t be able to bring your unvaccinated kid to school and I think that’s fair,” parent Amanda Ybarra said.

“You really do think about the sharing the facilities and the germs and how that all plays into the overall health,” parent Pete Ellis said.

A district nursing supervisor says so far nobody else at the school has contracted chickenpox but the window for them to be sure doesn’t end until Feb. 23.


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