Thursday, September 8, 2011

The House Family

My name is BilliJo House and I have a daughter who is in 4th grade attending Millard Public School District. My daughter has a fantastic school and is getting a quality education that I am pleased with. My daughter struggles with ADHD, but with the help from school she is getting herself caught up and is enjoying her days in class.

I do have a concern about the truancy bill that has passed – LB 800 – and the expansion in LB 463. I feel with these new laws are interfering with my parental authority. I know that it is important to send my child to school. However, there are times when My husband is gone most of the week and he will not get holidays like Thanksgiving off or even the weekend that follows. So because of the new law I now have to worry if I take my daughter out of school the when her dad is home and we can celebrate and cherish family times, will I be breaking the law. Sure taking her out for 1 day may not hurt however in the event that she may get sick through out the school year makes me worry. I am honest law abiding mother. This law oversteps my rights as a parent.

The intentions of the truancy bills – to improve school attendance and reduce the truancy rate, and to reach out to the at-risk children – are respectable, however LB 800 and LB 463 cross the line in going too far in negating the parental authority of hardworking honest parents trying to do their very best to give their children what they need. Other reasons my child and many other children may miss school may be for a family trip, educational as well as religious; family events such as weddings, babies being born and funerals. Some are planned events and others are emergencies.

Parents do need to be responsible and get their children to school, yet it is still the responsibility of the parents to keep their children out of school when necessary and when it benefits their education as a whole person. I feel that the truancy laws need to remain a case by case scenario. Not every child who misses 10 or even 20 days are truant from school. Truancy needs to be handle one case at a time. I want to keep my freedoms to use my parental authority.

BilliJo House
Omaha, Nebraska
2010/2011 School Year


I am the mother of a fifth grader who is attending Neihardt Elementary school. She has great teachers and other staff that work with her. I however am very concerned about the attendance policies that have been created in response to the new law passed in LB 463. In the attendance policy as I understand it that a child will be referred to the GOALS team after only 5 days of absence for an entire year for any reason. There is a list of absences that count as excused absence. Family emergencies are not even counted.

Well just this week my daughter was sick with a sore throat and a stomach ache. I am one who thinks that it is reasonable not to rush my child to the doctors for every sickness. She would have been ok to go to school on Tuesday however we had to take an unavoidable trip to Missouri to get my husband who was ill and to try and rescue his job. If he loses his job we could be worse off than we are and we are struggling now.

So all together my daughter has missed 3 days of school and it is only October. My daughter has ADHD and needs doctor appointments which rarely are available after school gets out. I feel like your policy is choking my best judgements as a mother.

I am an honest, hardworking, law abiding mother who wants to keep my responsibilities of a mom to keep her home when she is sick not only for her sake to help her to get better but for the school as a whole. A cold that is going around the family is obviously conagious would spred through the school especially to those who have immune disorders. I also need to keep the right to say if I have a family emergency that it is counted as excused.

This law relating to attendance and absences I have seen hurt many families so I have major anxiety that the Millard School District Policy is hurting families even more because of how strict it is.

BilliJo House
Millard Public Schools
Omaha, Nebraska
2011/2012 School Year

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