Schools in Ohio suburb aren’t vaccinating kids without parental consent
CLAIM: Schools in the Dayton, Ohio, suburb of Kettering are vaccinating children for COVID-19 without notifying parents or requesting their consent.
AP’S ASSESSMENT: False. Kettering City Schools has not allowed and would not allow any minor student to be vaccinated without parental consent, according to a statement from Scott Inskeep, district superintendent. This bogus claim originated in early August, before students had returned to classes in the district.
THE FACTS: Foreboding TikTok videos spreading widely across social media platforms this week are claiming that schools in the Dayton suburb of Kettering are vaccinating kids for COVID-19 without telling parents.
“You guys, this is Dayton, Ohio, this is Kettering Schools,” a female narrator says in a widely circulating TikTok video. “Every parent needs to see this, you need to be aware, because your kids are not safe.”
The narrator shows a clip of an Aug. 11 livestream video from InfoWars, a right-wing website that has spread numerous COVID-19 conspiracy theories. The clip features part of an interview with a caller who claims his brother’s daughter got vaccinated at school without her father’s knowledge or consent. The caller says his brother lives in Kettering, Ohio.
Another video of a woman warning parents about the alleged vaccination without consent was shared by several Twitter users, including Ohio U.S. Senate candidate Josh Mandel.
Inskeep, the Kettering City Schools superintendent, called the claim “unequivocally false.”
“No one in our schools has or EVER would allow ANY minor student to be vaccinated in our schools without the expressed permission of the child’s parent or legal guardian,” Inskeep said in a statement issued Aug. 21. “When we held our student vaccine clinics last spring, a parent or guardian had to accompany their minor child to the clinic or the vaccine was not administered. Furthermore, this radio program appears to have aired on August 11, the day before we had ANY students in school.”
The nearby district of Dayton Public Schools also issued a statement on social media on Aug. 13 denying claims that it had forced vaccinations on students. It specifically countered social media rumors that any students were taken out of class to be vaccinated that day.
“This is false,” the statement read. “DPS is not currently in session so students are not yet in class, and at no point would the district force student vaccinations.”
A representative for Dayton Public Schools could not immediately provide further comment.
COVID-19 vaccines are available for anyone 12 and older in Ohio. Children under 18 who are not emancipated are required to have parental consent for any vaccine, according to the Ohio Department of Health.
Mandel’s campaign team did not immediately respond to an emailed request for comment.
This is part of AP’s effort to address widely shared misinformation, including work with outside companies and organizations to add factual context to misleading content that is circulating online. Learn more about fact-checking at AP.