Unvaccinated high school student is suing the health department for banning him from school during a chicken pox outbreak

An 18-year-old high school senior is suing the Northern Kentucky Health Department for banning him from school and sports during a chicken pox outbreak. He refuses to get vaccinated because of his "Christian faith," so the Health Department refuses to let him attend school or play sports.

"The fact that I can't finish my senior year in basketball, like, our last couple of games, it's pretty devastating. I mean, you go through four years of high school playing basketball, you look forward to your senior year," the student, Jerome Kunkel, told WLWT5.

According to NBC:

The health department announced the policy Feb. 21 in a letter to parents, citing an outbreak of chickenpox at the school.

It first warned parents of the outbreak Feb. 5, urging them to get their children vaccinated. By March 14, the school had 32 cases of confirmed chickenpox, according to the health department.

"The recent actions taken by the Northern Kentucky Health Department regarding the chickenpox outbreak at Our Lady of the Sacred Heart/Assumption Academy was in direct response to a public health threat and was an appropriate and necessary response to prevent further spread of this contagious illness," the health department said in a statement in response to Kunkel's lawsuit.

Chicken pox is an airborne virus that can also be contracted through physical contact. Although most people get through the illness without any lasting effects, it can be devastating to pregnant women, babies, and people with weakened immune systems.

Image: by F malan - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=9575488