A parent in Towson, Md., was arrested Thursday night at a public forum after vocally expressing his concerns about the Baltimore County School District’s plan to use Common Core standards in its curriculum.
Robert Small, a concerned father, was forcefully removed from the meeting by a police officer after he interrupted Baltimore County Schools Superintendent Dallas Dance during the question-and-answer portion of the forum.
The meeting apparently didn’t allow parents to stand up and ask questions or comment. Parents and other attendants were instead asked to write their questions on a piece of paper and officials would read them.
However, Small began speaking out against the district’s use of Common Core, prompting a security guard, who was also a police officer, to approach him and order him to leave. “Let’s go!” he said sternly.
When Small didn’t immediately comply, the officer began pulling his arm and pushing him towards the exit. Some audience members gasped at the cop’s use of force.
“Don’t stand for this,” the father said as he was dragged out. “You are sitting here like cattle! Is this America?”
Small also urged other parents to demand answers on Common Core and the curriculum being used to educate their children.
As the Baltimore Sun reports, the officer then “pushed Small and then escorted him into the hall, handcuffed him and had him sit on the curb in front of the school.”
Small was charged with second-degree assault of a police officer and faces a $2,500 fine and up to 10 years in prison. He was also charged with disturbing a school operation, which carries an additional $2,500 and up to six months in jail.
Small attempted to push the officer away when he first approached him, the police report claims. Watch the video and decide for yourself if Small assaulted the officer:
Despite some opposition from parents, the Maryland State Department of Education reportedly plans to go forward with its implementation of Common Core standards, joining 45 other states and Washington, D.C., in adopting the standards for the first time this year.
“Look, I am being manhandled and shut down because I asked inconvenient questions,” Small told the Baltimore Sun after the incident. “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.”