Friday, May 18, 2012

Parents must be involved in the governance of their local school districts

The Nebraska Family Forum has the simple mission of protecting the local control of education and the precious constitutional rights of parents to direct the education and upbringing of their children.

It was our goal to restore local control over school attendance and promote district policies that would prevent innocent families from becoming entangled in the burdensome monitoring and intrusions of pre-court truancy diversion programs, DHHS, and legal action.

We fought hard during this year’s legislative session to restore local control over school attendance, but there will be no significant changes in the coming school year if parents don't hold their school districts accountable for using common sense in their attendance policies and reflecting the strong family values of our local communities.

Parents must be involved in the governance of their local school districts! “Eternal Vigilance is the Price of Liberty.” If parents are going to retain their precious constitutional rights, to direct the upbringing and education of their children, they absolutely must be involved; not just in their kid’s classroom but in the politics and policy making of their school districts.

Many school board members are up for re-election, a new superintendent is being put in place in OPS, and it’s time for parents reach out to the candidates and find out what philosophies about family life and school drive their decision making.

Gretna School District Policy has been a model for me, one that reflects the general values of our family centered state. It recognizes family life as a bedrock of child development and allows reasonable family travel to be excused. Gretna continues to recognize and trust the judgment of their school building principals as the ones most qualified to judge whether an absence is legitimate or not based on their first hand knowledge of the families and their students.

Nebraskans are people who believe in freedom, who know it is essential to trust parents to raise their families without the heavy handed scrutiny of government intervention. We want our community schools to be places where common sense can be exercised by building principals who work closely with parents and students.

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Things excused under Gretna Policy:
(1) Illness (personal illness of student)
(2) Bereavement or emergency in the family
(3) Doctor or dental appointment which require student to be absent from school,
(4) Court appearances that are required by a court order,
(5) School sponsored activities which require students to be absent from school,
(6) Family trips in which student accompanies parent(s)/legal guardian(s),
(7) Religious observance,
(8) Other absences which have received prior approval from the Principal.28

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