Debra Barnes has a thriving chiropractic practice, a nice home and a family who loves living in the South, but she said she would leave Mississippi in a heartbeat if health officials tried to force her home-schooled children to be immunized.
Barnes is part of a network of parents whose decision to home-school their children rests on their belief that mandated vaccinations for public and private schoolchildren are a dangerous overreach by state governments.
While the mainstream scientific community maintains that childhood vaccines are safe, Barnes relies on the work of some scientists who argue that immunizations can bring on autism or weaken the natural immunities of children.
"If you want to vaccinate your children, go ahead. But don't force me to vaccinate my children. These children are entrusted to us," she says.