Parent arrested at forum after protesting use of common core
He was being removed for not following format to ask questions and is charged with second-degree assault of police officer
Parent removed and arrested from Maryland State Board of Education meeting on Common Core for speaking out of turn. (Video courtesy of Ann Miller at Baltimore County Republican Examiner)
Robert Small said he wanted to express his dismay over the introduction of a new school curriculum at a public forum Thursday night in Towson, but instead the Ellicott City parent was pulled out of the meeting, arrested and charged with second-degree assault of a police officer.
Small stood and interrupted Baltimore County School Superintendent Dallas Dance during a question-and-answer session and began to tell the audience that he believed the new curriculum was lowering the standards of education and was intended to prepare students for community colleges. “You are not preparing them for Harvard,” he said.
The format of the forum did not allow the public to stand and ask a question. Instead, those who wanted questions answered had to write them on a piece of paper. Dance read the questions and had members of a panel, which included state schools Superintendent Lillian Lowery, answer them.
When Small started speaking, Dance told him that he believed his question would be answered, but Small continued to talk. After a couple of minutes, a security guard confronted Small, saying, “Let’s go. Let’s go.”
Small, 46, asked him if he was an officer and the security guard, an off-duty Baltimore County police officer, showed him a badge. The officer grabbed Small’s arm and pulled him toward the aisle. The audience gasped and some people sitting nearby got out of their seats.
As he was being taken out, Small said, “Don’t stand for this. You are sitting here like cattle.” Then he said, “Is this America?”
The officer pushed Small and then escorted him into the hall, handcuffed him and had him sit on the curb in front of the school. He was taken to the Towson precinct and detained. Small was charged with second-degree assault of a police officer, which carries a fine of $2,500 and up to 10 years in prison, and disturbing a school operation, which carries a fine of $2,500 and up to six months.
School Supers have parent arrested from Common Core meeting
School Superintendents receive an F grade for Common Core meeting
Dr. Dallas Dance, Superintendent of Baltimore County Public Schools, and Lillian Lowery, Maryland Superintendent, had the opportunity Thursday night to make minor amends at an MSDE-sponsored informational meeting after a three-plus year information blackout on Common Core, the new federal curriculum for Maryland schools.
Instead, Dr. Dance added insult to injury by screening, omitting, and editing parents’ questions.
Questions from the audience of about 160 people, which consisted of parents, PTA members, teachers, and school administrators, were submitted on cards prior to and during the 1-1/2 hour meeting for the Q&A period which lasted about 40 minutes.
Dr. Dance chose which questions to read or omit, opting for teacher and school administrator or softball questions. But he also altered the wording of the questions themselves.
My submitted question:
“What is the process for parents to review what data has been or will be collected on our kids, where it is stored, how it will be used, and with whom it has or will be shared? What are parents options for opting out of data collection on our kids?”
What Dr. Dance read:
“As a parent, I’ve heard a lot of information around the state Longitudinal Data system. What is the process to review what data is being collected on students, where is it stored, how will it be used, with whom will it be shared?”
After the question was answered, I called out, “Can parents opt out?”, but was ignored.
My submitted question:
“Although Common Core was adopted by MDE three years ago, in exchange for a quarter Billion dollar federal incentive grant through Race To The Top which is conditioned upon adherence to Common Core, parents weren’t informed until after its implementation. The MDE has not valued nor requested parental input. Instead, there was no transparency or even the courtesy of notifying parents much less consulting them. No wonder parents are up in arms. You’ve awakened the Mama Bear. Why haven’t parents across the state heard of Common Core until the month of its implementation?”
What Dr. Dance read:
“As a parent, I was a little disappointed that I’m just starting to hear so much information around the Common Core state standard. I want to be informed as most parents across our state. As a parent, how can I learn more information around Common Core?”