Illinois schools send 600 students home for lacking vaccines, physical exams

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — A central Illinois school district sent 600 students home from classes because they didn't have their required physicals and immunizations.

The students were sent home Tuesday. District 186 Superintendent Jennifer Gill said most of the 600 students were heading into sixth, ninth and 12th grades, the State Journal-Register reported.

Gill says one factor was that all 12th-graders had to provide proof of two meningococcal vaccines if the first was received on or after their 16th birthdays.

Springfield School Board member Mike Zimmers said the parents of the students "should be ashamed of themselves" for not ensuring their children met the medical requirements. He says he saw one parent at the last of six free clinics leave with his young daughter because they faced a long wait.