Nebraska Truancy Law Still Under Fire

Paul Gutierrez

OMAHA (KPTM) - A truancy law for Nebraska enacted four years ago could see some changes in its future.

State Senator Brad Ashford, who wrote the law, is now looking to tweak it to the support of dozens of families metrowide.

"The law causes harm to children," said Brenda Vosik, director of Nebraska Family Forum. "Most of these kids shouldn't have a reason to feel like they're in trouble."

When the law was first put into place it allowed schools to report excessive absences to county attorneys. Once a student missed 20 days or more even approved excuses would get investigated.

The law was updated a couple of years ago, but Vosik still saw it as an attack on the rights of parents.

"We're the experts on our kids," said Vosik. "We're going to keep standing up and saying that we expect to have that right back."

The proposed changes, which Vosik sees as a step in the right direction, would allow districts to intervene only for unexcused absences, eliminate a doctor's note requirement for an absence to count as excused and create a new state council to review school attendance policies.

"I think it would make a big impact."

Governor Dave Heineman signed the original truancy bill into law. As of right now, he isn't saying anything about the proposed changes.