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BEATRICE -- The Beatrice Board of Education voted Monday to reaffirm the high school's handbook and deny a request from a home-school student to attend the Beatrice High School prom.

Kate Ratigan, a local restaurant owner, said her daughter is home-schooled for religious reasons.

The high school, she said, is a resource for the whole community, as all community members pay taxes, and said allowing her daughter to attend wouldn't be taking away anything from Beatrice High School students.

"I don't like the idea that if you don't put your kids in high school you shouldn’t expect to get those benefits," Ratigan said. "Those benefits don't belong to the high school, they belong to the community. We give them to those kids so they can have that opportunity."

In 2005, a home-school student requested to march with the band during Homestead Days. Board member Janet Byars said BHS Principal Jason Sutter set a precedent at that time by denying the request.

Byars also noted that Ratigan lives outside the Beatrice school district.

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Board member Nancy Sedlacek asked Ratigan if she'd made a similar request to the Sterling Board of Education.

Ratigan said no because her church and business activities are in Beatrice.

"It wouldn't make sense .... That's not where we go. That's not our community; Beatrice is," she said.

Ratigan said she had lived in Beatrice beginning in 1992 until two years ago.

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