Thursday, January 12, 2012

Nebraska Family Forum: Memorandum of Understanding to Amend Nebraska’s Truancy Law



Mission:

It is the Mission of the Nebraska Family Forum (NFF) to amend Nebraska’s school attendance law and restore the classic definition of truancy. In so doing, we will restore the cooperative and respectful relationship between school authorities and parents, preserve a family-centered community, and provide a well-rounded education for our kids.

Guiding Principles:

We believe the family is the single most important element to a child’s ability to learn and be successful in school and life. For this reason, it’s imperative that the state honor the authority of parents as they exercise their rights, obligations, and responsibilities to raise, manage, direct, and educate their children.

We believe that the right of parents to raise their children without undue government interference is a fundamental liberty that has long been protected by the Constitution of the United States and honored by local governments. We believe parents exercise this right when they excuse their child from school based on their own best judgment.

We believe that it is essential to the cooperative and respectful relationship between school authorities and the parents and children they serve, that authorities honor a parent’s authority to discern when an absence from school is in the best interest of his or her child.

We believe that the fundamental right of a parent does not cease to exist simply because a parent may fail to be a model parent. Parents often struggle to meet the needs of their children, but this is not in itself sufficient cause for government intrusion into family life.

We believe that Nebraska’s truancy law systematically undermines parental authority, and will lead to an increase in the long-neglected social problems that often lead to habitual truancy and failure in school.

We believe that flexibility in education, stimulating curriculum, quality teachers, and innovative education reforms can successfully deal with many of the issues that cause truancy -- even in the face of indifferent or ineffective parenting.

We believe that there is no perfect solution to address all the fallible human conditions that exist in family life and that may lead to habitual truancy and failure in school. We warn that governments who seek to micro-manage the everyday choices of parents in pursuit prescribed outcomes, will do great harm to the integrity of the family and by extension, the well-being of children and society as a whole.

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