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2/9/2012 1:22:28 PM
Home School Legal Defense Association
Nebraska: Committee Considers Positive Changes to Truancy Law

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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Nebraska: Committee Considers Positive Changes to Truancy Law

Dear HSLDA Members and Friends,

On Monday, February 13, 2012, the Nebraska Legislature's Judiciary
Committee will be holding a hearing on Legislative Bill 1165
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=13689 , which will make several
important changes to Nebraska's truancy law. Although this bill is
not aimed at homeschooling in particular, LB 1165 will make several
positive changes that will benefit homeschool families.

Under Nebraska's current truancy statute, a school administrator who
believes that a student is truant or has excessive absences has no
choice but to inform the county attorney, who can then prosecute the
family for truancy. School officials are also not required to notify
the parents beforehand that they believe a child is absent--in many
cases, the first notice that parents receive is from a uniformed law
enforcement officer who is investigating whether the parents should be
prosecuted for a crime.

LB 1165 will change this by requiring that schools provide parents
with notice that their child is apparently truant before the school
contacts the county attorney for legal action. In addition, the bill
requires each school district to develop its own written policy for
absenteeism and truancy, and limits truancy investigations to families
who are actually suspected of violating this policy.

The bill also permits the school district several courses of action
for handling a truancy investigation - including letters to the
parents and setting up conferences between parents and school
officials - instead of simply jumping to a criminal prosecution by the
county attorney.

These changes are definite improvements to Nebraska's current truancy
law. HSLDA believes that parents should receive a warning before
being charged with truancy so that they may have the opportunity to
resolve any dispute before going to court. In addition, legal truancy
proceedings should always be the tool of last resort when a school
district suspects a family to not be in compliance with the law. This
bill will give districts some discretion in deciding when to initiate
legal action by forwarding information to the county attorney.

ACTION REQUESTED

1. Please contact the members of the Judiciary Committee to voice
your support for LB 1165. Since this bill does not specifically
reference homeschooling, there is no need to identify yourself as a
homeschooler.

Sen. Brad Ashford, Chairperson
District 20
Phone: (402) 471-2622
Email: bashford@leg.ne.gov

Sen. Colby Coash
District 27
Phone: (402) 471-2632
Email: ccoash@leg.ne.gov

Sen. Brenda Council
District 11
Phone: (402) 471-2612
Email: bcouncil@leg.ne.gov

Sen. Burke Harr
District 8
Phone: (402) 471-2722
Email: bharr@leg.ne.gov

Sen. Tyson Larson
District 40
Phone: (402) 471-2801
Email: tlarson@leg.ne.gov

Sen. Steve Lathrop
District 12
Phone: (402) 471-2623
Email: slathrop@leg.ne.gov

Sen. Scott Lautenbaugh
District 18
Phone: (402) 471-2618
Email: slautenbaugh@leg.ne.gov

Sen. Amanda McGill
District 26
Phone: (402) 471-2610
Email: amcgill@leg.ne.gov

When contacting these committee members, you could consider a message
similar to this one (restate in your own words):

"Please support LB 1165, which makes significant improvements to
Nebraska's truancy law."

Here at HSLDA, it is truly a privilege to serve you. If you or
someone you know is not a member of HSLDA, will you consider taking a
moment today to join or recommend us and support our work defending
individual families threatened by government officials and protecting
homeschooling freedom for all? Join now:
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=13690

Sincerely,

Peter K. Kamakawiwoole, Jr.
HSLDA Staff Attorney

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-> You can only do so much...

No one can be everywhere at once. And you can't be at home,
teaching your children, while monitoring your state's legislature.
Through electronic legislative services, HSLDA is monitoring state
legislation for you -- watching and listening carefully for any
proposed laws that could erode your right to homeschool.
Join HSLDA today-we'll watch out for your future.

More reasons to join HSLDA...
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=1942

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