Sharing family experience, former teacher, IRSD board member targets vaccinations

GEORGETOWN — Since August, vaccinations have been a public commentary topic at Indian River School District board of education meetings.

At the Dec. 21 board meeting, former district employee/school board member Nina Lou Bunting took the podium, sharing her family’s experience in echoing concerns presented previously by Indian River High School health teacher Paris Mitchell, who contends the health of students nationwide is being compromised by what he calls a vaccination overdose.

Nina Lou Bunting

Nina Lou Bunting

Prefacing her remarks by saying it is a “subject very dear to my heart,” Ms. Bunting told the board and administration she believes vaccination ushered autism into her family.

“We don’t do shots in our family,” said Ms. Bunting, adding that back in the day when her children were little, under advisement from “our doctor who was also a personal friend, because of our allergies and adverse reactions to all kinds of medication … our doctor suggested that instead of the childhood shots for my children they should wait until as he called it – a wedding gift. For my two daughters the wedding gift was the measles shot, and to my son the wedding gift was the mumps shot.”

“Well, I was threatened by the Indian River School District that my children were going to be kicked out of school if they didn’t have their shots,” said Ms. Bunting, who taught for nearly 30 years in the Indian River district and served 13 years on the school board before resigning in June 2015 with her appointment to the State Board of Education.  “I was an employee of the Indian River School District so I bent to the threat and they did get their shots when they were in middle school. One child had a very severe reaction from the shot … that same child is the one who has my grandson, with autism.”

Ms. Bunting shared another episode of a child who was immunized with a series of shots at 18 months. “He is now 12 years old and has not spoken a word since that day nor has he completed his potty training,” Ms. Bunting said. “They aren’t the only ones. Something is causing this – one in 55 children to have autism today. We must do our research and be very careful.”

“As I said before, my grandson has autism. We believe that too many vaccines at too young of an age affect the immune system,” Ms. Bunting said. “If I had the flu shot every time I’ve been asked at a pharmacy I’d look like a porcupine.”

“The medical community insists there is no link. Vaccines are big business,” said Ms. Bunting. “My kids are in the medical field. And they’ve done their own research. It is not our responsibility to protect the herd. It is our responsibility to be informed.”

“Besides, if you’ve had your shots, why should you be afraid of us? You are protected, aren’t you?” Ms. Bunting asked in addressing the school board and administration. “Of course it isn’t politically correct to swim upstream. Do your homework. Don’t just follow along with the crowd.”

Mr. Mitchell, a 17-year teacher, spoke at board meetings in August, September, October and November. He did not attend the Dec. 21 meeting but plans to speak at the January board meeting.

“The two major vaccines I would initially like to see out of our schools are the flu shot and the Gardasil shot. The flu shot and Gardisil are not required by schools but they are there,” said Mr. Mitchell at the August meeting. “I see kids damaged every year and it is becoming more and more prevalent. I see the results. It’s all about making money.”

More people die each year from getting hit in the head by coconuts than from the flu, Mr. Mitchell said.

“I don’t think the flu shots are necessary. I’ll debate anybody anytime that wants to debate the flu shots,” said Mr. Mitchell.

Indian River School District Superintendent Dr. Susan Bunting said certain inoculations are required by the state through the Department of Public Health before a child can come to school, but those are not given by the district.

Certain vaccines and inoculations are available to students – with parental permission – through wellness centers at Sussex Central and Indian River high schools, operated in conjunction with Beebe Healthcare as an entity of Public Health, said Jay F. Owens, Indian River School District’s Director of Accountability.

“The state of Delaware has certain protocol. Our nurses follow the state code of how they operate,” said Mr. Owens. “But in terms of flu shots and vaccinations we don’t do any of that. Each of our high schools does have wellness centers, and with parental permission they can supply certain immunization shots.”

“Let me be clear, I am not against wellness centers,” said Mr. Mitchell. “I just think we need to do a better job at what we are allowing to go on, which is pretty much my message regarding vaccines in general.”

“I want to commend Mr. Mitchell for bringing attention to this matter. He is doing the community a great service,” said Nina Lou Bunting. “His point is well taken. You don’t have to listen to him or anyone else. In this age of technology and instant answers all you need to do is to check it out for yourselves.”

News Editor Glenn Rolfe can be reached at

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