When a concerned parent dared attend a school board meeting last week to express his concerns about Common Core, he was carried away in handcuffs.
Arriving at Regional Public Forum on the Common Core State Standards – Central Maryland Forum held September 19 at the Ridge Ruxton School in the Baltimore suburb of Towson, Maryland, Bob Small was determined to question the wisdom the federal government’s new standardized curriculum know as Common Core.
"I want to know how many parents here are aware that the goal of Common Core standards isn't to prepare our children for full-fledged universities, it's to prepare them for community college,” Small said, to applause.
“My question is, how does lowering America's educational standards prepare kids for community college?" asked Small, before a police officer moonlighting as a security guard forced Small out of the auditorium.
Small resisted and as he was being dragged away, the fed-up father of two implored his fellow parents to join him in resisting the rush to expose their children to the dangers posed by Common Core.
Common Core is a nationwide effort sponsored by the National Governors’ Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers to establish one standardized curriculum. Critics of the effort point out that key scholastic subjects like math and literature are gutted under the Common Core system and children attending schools participating in the scheme will be subject to data mining of the sort that benefits government collectivism.
Video of the shocking police state-like treatment of a citizen exercising his First Amendment-protected rights in defense of his children has gone viral.
As the off-duty officer slapped the cuffs on him, Small shouted, “I'm not an activist, I'm a parent. I have a right to speak.”
For his part, Small was demonstrably incredulous not only at being hauled away, but at his fellow parents’ failure to come to his aid.
“Parents, take control. We’re sick of this. This is not a CNN political debate. This is a public town hall.... Listen, don’t stand for this. You’re sitting here like cattle. You have questions. Confront them. They don’t want to do it in public.... Parents, you need to question these people.”
His pleas were met mostly by silence, although one woman could be heard exclaiming twice, “Let him ask his question!”
A report written by a member of the audience who witnessed Small’s arrest explains why attendees sat by and watched as one of their own was carried off in cuffs. Ann Miller writes:
First, the public needs to understand that no one in attendance thought for a moment that Mr. Small was going to be arrested. In fact, I didn’t find out about it until the next day, and I was shocked. We just thought he was being escorted (to put it kindly) out of the room. That’s not to excuse our lack of action, but to make it somewhat more understandable.
Second, no parent wants to believe how political the public school system is, from the federal level all the way down to the local school level. We attend school meetings thinking we’re all there to “work together,” as the school system is always saying. But then there’s the teacher’s unions, the school boards, the PTA, and many other pressures coming down from above in a top-down power structure. Add federal education programs into the mix and now we’re talking money. Big money. When the MSDE adopted Common Core in June of 2010 (yes, three years ago), it received a quarter BILLION dollar federal incentive grant through Race To The Top which was conditioned upon adherence to Common Core.
Third, Americans (outside of Chicago) are not used to Police State tactics. It’s new to us. When we see it, we don’t immediately recognize it and we don’t know how to respond. Everyone has had those moments of hindsight when you kick yourself, saying, “I should have said that,” or “I should have done this.” Those are learning moments, and the second time we are faced with a similar situation, we know how to respond.
Baltimore Police told The New American Monday morning that Small has been charged with a pair of misdemeanors: assaulting an officer and disrupting a school function. If convicted of the assault charge, Small faces 10 years in prison and a $2,500 fine.
The age of the cellphone camera makes the persecution of Small problematic for the police state, however. Video clearly reveals that Small neither touched nor threatened the officer. The same cannot be said of the officer who noticeably pushes Small, forcing him into the hallway of the school.
According to the “official” law enforcement version of the events, once Small and the officer were out of the view of the camera, Small “continued to yell and pushed the officer.”
Monday morning, the Baltimore County Police Department released a statement regarding the status of Small’s case. The statement reads in part:
The meeting, hosted in Towson by BCPS, was one of a series of meetings scheduled throughout the state by the Maryland Department of Education. The established meeting format requires participants to submit written questions to the panel. While the Baltimore County Police Department strongly supports a citizen's right to exercise his or her First Amendment rights, it also recognizes that meeting organizers have the right to establish rules of order.
In response to a question posed by The New American, a Baltimore County Police Department media spokeswoman said that no preliminary hearing was scheduled in Small’s case, but that the matter was presently being reviewed by Baltimore County Police Chief James Johnson.
To date, 45 state governments have signed on to the Obama administration’s nationalization of K-12 educational standards.
As The New American has documented, the Common Core agenda is reprehensible for many reasons, including: a lowering of academic standards, the pushing of centralist propaganda, perpetual testing to continue qualifying for federal funds, ties to the globocrats at the United Nations, and overt anti-religious messages in the required reading.
The New American will continue following the case against Robert Small and the case against Common Core, the former should be immediately exonerated, while the latter deserves summary execution without delay.
Update: At 4:16 p.m. on September 23, Baltimore County State's Attorney Scott Shellenberger issued the following statement:
On September 23, 2013 charges against Robert Small for Second Degree Assault and Disturbing a School Activity were dismissed. Mr. Small was charged as a result of an incident that occurred on September 19, 2013 at a forum held by the Maryland State Department of Education in Baltimore County.
It was clear that Mr. Small violated the rules of the meeting and disrupted the meeting. It was also clear that the Officer acted appropriately and did have probable cause to make an arrest on both charges.
The Baltimore County State’s Attorney’s Office has just received and reviewed the facts of this case. In the interest of justice, further prosecution will not accomplish anything more. Therefore, the charges have been dismissed. The State’s Attorney’s Office will have no further comment on this matter.
Photo at top: Screen-grab showing Robert Small (center) from YouTube video
Joe A. Wolverton, II, J.D. is a correspondent for The New American and travels frequently nationwide speaking on topics of nullification, the NDAA, and the surveillance state. He is the host of The New American Review radio show that is simulcast on Youtube every Monday. He can be reached at