It is the Mission of the Nebraska Family Forum (NFF) to promote education policies in our state that preserve and protect parental authority and the integrity of the family. In so doing, we will preserve the cooperative and respectful relationship between school authorities and parents, preserve a family-centered community, and provide a well-rounded education for our kids.
The following post was written by NFF member Vaughn Crowell. Vaughn and his wife were two of the first casualties of Nebraska's assault on families when they stood up for their child's legal rights and were jailed by Judge Elizabeth Crnkovich during a "truancy" hearing for their non-truant child. During the six hours they were held behind bars, a mysterious call was made to the child abuse hotline, a false and misleading affidavit was filed by the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services, and Deputy County Attorney Jordan Boler used the false affidavit to move the Court for immediate custody of the Crowells' child. The child was removed from the home by an armed sheriff, in what was surely a record response time by Nebraska's Child Protective Services workers. The next morning, a different juvenile court judge reversed everything done the day before and returned the child to the home. No charges were ever filed against the Crowells. In this post, Vaughn reflects on the thousands of families, like his, who have become collateral damage in Nebraska's attack on children and parents, in the name of "education."
The Collateral Damage of LB800
In speaking with a parent today about the frustration of having
received a “10 day notice” regarding their child’s absences from school,
it reminded me of the collateral damage being inflicted by LB800. They
have a child that suffers from a chronic illness. Their insurance will
cover surgical intervention with five documented episodes of
inflammation in a 15 month period. For the past several years the
periods of inflammation have been far enough apart that the fifth
episode is always just outside of 15 months. Insurance denied the family
doctor's recommendation for surgery to resolve the matter and reduce the
number of sick days. I suggested she ask the insurance company to
refer her case to the medical director for reconsideration. I, of course,
also gave her my well memorized speech on the evils of LB800, warned her
of the inevitable looming referral to the County Attorney and that she
and her family, friends and neighbors should contact their Senator to support repealing LB800.
Almost as an afterthought, she mentioned
that she and her husband generally take their children with them to an
annual conference that takes the children out of school for three or
four days. After receiving the notice, they decided against taking them
The collateral damage here is fear. Fear of having to explain your decisionsto
a Deputy County Attorney, fear of NDHHS concocting an excuse to invade
your home and remove your child claiming the absurdity of “educational
neglect” (to which I give witness is a very real invasion), a fear so
great and coercive that we as parents literally deny our children the
opportunity and benefit of life’s experiences.
How much have we already
given up over the past three years? How many opportunities for
spontaneous enlightenment have our children missed because of the
collateral damage of LB800?
I have always believed that brilliance
of heart and character is equal on all levels to brilliance of
cognition. Where will our next artists, actors, musicians, story
tellers and writers come from when we deny our children the experience
of finding self-worth and the absolute joy of discovering a natural
talent clear and free of any outside influence, an essence of self, an
understanding of who they are rather than the regurgitation of a
If we continue to send our children to the jailer, we will need to build more jails because jailers do what jailers do.
I pity those that believe there is nothing to be learned outside of the classroom.
Please support the repeal of LB800. Contact your state senator.
“I have never let my schooling interfere with my education” – Mark Twain