December 16, 2011
In 2008, my children and I joined more than 400 homeschoolers who marched on the Nebraska State Capitol and demanded our rights. You supported our cause unequivocally. If I remember correctly, you even promised to veto legislation that would place further restrictions on Nebraska homeschoolers. You were a believer in a parent’s right to direct their child’s education.
So I have been absolutely stunned that you continue to stand by LB 800 and LB 463, the invasive, overreaching, family damaging, anti-parental rights truancy legislation.
I have heard many parents comment that this is just a sign that Nebraska is becoming more “liberal,” “progressive,” and even “Marxist.” I quickly tell them that our self-proclaimed conservative, Republican governor was behind this nanny-state legislation, aided by a Republican state senator. Parents are shocked and so am I.
I am shocked that you continue to stand by as innocent families are judged, scrutinized, and threatened by their school districts, dragged into court and into our failed DHHS system, forced into pseudo “therapy” at their own expense and in at least one case, jailed. Families with sick children, families with Olympic-caliber athletes, families with a parent who has just returned from Iraq or Afghanistan, even a family whose child was pulled from class to perform with her school choir at the State Capitol. All families who are “truant” according to your legislation.
Your legislation has brought down law enforcement and the juvenile justice system on all of these innocent children and parents. Your law has caused parents with sick children to spend thousands of dollars on legal representation. Your law has caused irreparable harm to hundreds of Nebraska families. Sure, maybe a few truly truant (absent without permission) students have been helped. But the collateral damage is unspeakable.
When I placed my children back in public school this year, I did not sign over my parental rights to you, to Brad Ashford, to Roger Breed, or to the State of Nebraska. Those rights are still mine and I intend to keep them.
THE TRUANCY LAW NEEDS TO BE CHANGED. THE TRUE DEFINITION OF TRUANCY (ABSENT WITHOUT PERMISSION) NEEDS TO BE RESTORED. A PARENT’S RIGHT—MY RIGHT-- TO EXCUSE THEIR OWN CHILD FROM SCHOOL NEEDS TO BE RESTORED.
My family is not your guinea pig to use for the purpose of catching truant students. My family is not available to be your collateral damage. Parents are afraid, parents are bewildered, parents are sad, but mainly, parents are ANGRY. They are angry at you and we angry parents are not going away. We are not going to “get used to it,” or “adjust to a new normal.” We are not going away until you fix this law and restore our natural rights to make decisions for our own children.
For Our Families,