The controversial new school curriculum known as Common Core has critics all over the country speaking out – including one parent who was arrested in Towson, Md., on Thursday.
Robert Small wanted to speak at a public forum hosted by the Maryland State Board of Education. While the format called for questions to be written on a piece of paper and given to the panel, Small stood in the audience and criticized the curriculum’s lower educational standards, saying children were being prepared for community colleges, according to the Baltimore Sun.
“You’re not preparing them for Harvard,” Small said.
When Small spoke, Baltimore County School Superintendent Dallas Dance told him that his questions would be answered. Small continued to speak until he was approached by a security guard.
The security guard, an off-duty Baltimore County police officer, showed his badge, pulled out handcuffs and pushed Small out of the forum, causing the audience to gasp, according to a YouTube video of the incident.
“Don’t stand for this,” Small said as he was being pushed out. “You are sitting here like cattle. Is this America?”
The Baltimore Sun described what happened next:
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.
The Maryland State Department of Education held the forum to explain the Common Core curriculum, being implemented in 45 states and the District of Columbia. Debate over the curriculum has grown, with opposition coming from the far-left and the tea party protesting federal control over education.
“Look, I am being manhandled and shut down because I asked inconvenient questions,” Small told the Sun in an interview on Friday. “Why won’t they allow an open forum where there can be a debate? We are told to sit there and be lectured to about how great Common Core is.”
A research manager for the Department of Veteran Affairs, Small has a second-grader and a sixth-grader who attend Howard County schools. He told the newspaper that he had nothing against community colleges, but he would like for his children to receive an education worthy of a four-year college.
The altercation was captured on this YouTube video: