Monday, June 24, 2013
NFF MEMBERS: PLEASE RESPOND
Dear NFF Members:
For the past three years, Nebraska families have lived under Brad Ashford's "excessive absenteeism" law, which was passed in 2010 under the guise of preventing truancy. We now know that this law was never about truancy; in fact, changes in truancy rates are not even being measured. Rather, this has been a massive transfer of authority over our children from parents to public officials, and a criminalization of absences from school.
Even after the April 2012 amendment to the law, Melanie Williams-Smotherman and I are still spending many hours every week advocating for families of non-truant children who are being unjustly attacked by school districts, county attorneys, and judges from throughout the state. The cases that happen to come to our attention are surely the tip of the iceberg. This law is so invasive and has created such an industry of taxpayer-funded jobs, that fighting individual cases is like swimming upstream. Even when our advocacy is successful, we might as well be putting a band-aid on a gaping wound, because the next abused family is right around the corner. It never stops.
Although some individuals in the "attendance enforcement system" admit there have been mistakes and seem open to change, Melanie and I feel the abuse is too widespread and the practices too entrenched for acceptable changes to ever be made within the confines of the current law. We think the law must be repealed completely.
What do you think? Do you agree or disagree?
We need your input to decide on our next step. Please take a few seconds to respond. We welcome any comments of any length, even if it's just a simple "yes, the law should be repealed" or "no, the current law is working and shouldn't be changed." Your answer is very important to us. Thank you for your response.
Posted by Brenda Vosik at Monday, June 24, 2013