Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Open Letter to Governor Heineman: Return to the Traditional Definition of Truancy

Dear Governor Heineman,

I have been a tremendous supporter of your political endeavors for many years.  I have been fortunate enough to work on committees you chaired or formed.  I have followed your political career with great enthusiasm.  I have voted continuously for you and your administration at all levels.  I believe you have always had the best interest of Nebraska in mind.

That is why, with a heavy heart, I am writing this letter to express my deepest and most heartfelt outrage regarding your initial and continued support of the new truancy laws.  For a conservative, republican governor to rewrite the definition of truancy, and in the most fundamental way strip away the rights of parents, leaves me speechless.  

This law is an intrusion on the most basic parental rights and does nothing to help children with attendance issues.  Throwing families into the legal system is traumatic to the children and strains the family.  This is an individual school issue and should be handled at the (individual) school level.  

In the Omaha area alone, hundreds of thousands of dollars are being spent to administer this program.  This money could be better utilized at the individual school level to assist children and parents who have real truancy issues.  Children that have loving and caring parents that are making parental decisions to keep their children out of class are decisions made by the family, not by government.  Also, the strain and added burden this places on Nebraska’s court and child welfare system is an outrage and total mismanagement of tax payer money.

Please reconsider your position on this law and return the traditional definition of truancy to the law’s language and return to your conservative, republican roots to give parental rights back to the parents.  Please stay true to your conservative values and keep government regulation and the judicial system out of our schools and our homes.  


Regina Miller

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