Monday, February 6, 2012

Truancy Q&A with Douglas County Attorney Don Kleine

You’re Invited!!

Nebraska Family Forum hosts Truancy Law Q&A with Douglas County Attorney Don Kleine, moderated by KFAB’s Scott Voorhees.

This community meeting will give parents, community leaders, and concerned citizens an opportunity to engage in an open dialogue about problems arising from the controversial truancy law. Feb 15th @ 6:30 pm, Creighton Law School (2120 Cass St., room 124).

Omaha, NE, February 15, 2012: The Nebraska Family Forum has been at the forefront of a grass roots effort to fix the 2010 “truancy” law that has deviated from the legal definition of truancy, “to be absent without permission” (US Department of Justice), and has caused students with excused absences - including kids who are sick, spending quality time with a deployed parent, visiting a sick relative, traveling with family, and pursuing athletic and educational excellence – to fall under the jurisdiction of the county attorney.

This shift in discretion over school attendance and the punitive approach to improving attendance has been a great source of distress and anxiety for hundreds of parents in our state. Douglas County alone has been flooded with a 1000% increase in truancy filings since the passage of the 2010 law. Still Don Kleine and his office have given their official support for the law and recommended that the legislature make no changes to the law for at least two years.

The innocent families who have fallen into the broad punitive net of the law are finding it difficult to sort out who is to blame for the miscarriage of justice. The schools tell them it is the law that is at fault, but legislators and county attorney’s say they are strictly following the recommendation of school administrators to guide the process that determines which families are pursued. Organizers hope that an open and honest dialogue with Don Kleine and other invited guests – Sen. Ashford, members of the judiciary committee, and learning community superintendents - will provide answers for the families affected.

2 comments:

  1. Tonya HightreeMarch 19, 2012

    my son has missed 10.84 excused medical related days of school this year. I just reseved a letter from the Douglas county attonery stating that my son has missed at least 20 absences from school. I have been back and forth with the the schools social worker Nancy Cole ( millard public ) and the truancy coordinator Marybeth L. Stranglen. both women accuse the other no one can tell me why this has happened. I'm sick of this. they r abusing this law. is there any way us responsible parents can pertect ourselves and our children. on top of it the court wants me to do exactly what they are accusing us of doing, take our son out of class to come to court. won't he be missing school then. and won't they count it even though its an excused. someone please help. any advice would be appreciated. thank you.

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    1. Brenda VosikMarch 19, 2012

      Tonya, I am the Assistant Executive Director of the Nebraska Family Forum. We have some ideas for helping you with this situation. Please e-mail me at BRENDVOSMO@cox.net and provide me with your phone number.

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