Parent manhandled by security for asking question about Common Core
Bryan Preston at PJ Tatler has the shocking story of a parent from Towson Maryland trying to ask a question about the new Common Core standards being roughed up by a security guard (who it turns out was an off duty cop) and arrested.
First, the story from Fox News:
A father in Towson, Maryland, was forcefully ejected from a local town hall forum for asking the wrong question.
Robert Small had concerns over the Common Core education initiative, feeling that it was dumbing down the curriculum in his local school district.
"My question is, how does lowering America's educational standards prepare kids for community college?" asked Small, before soon being approached by a security guard - who was also an off-duty cop - and being dragged away from his seat.
The outspoken father then implored the crowd to take action. "Don't stand for this," said Small. "You're sitting here like cowards. You have questions!"
Apparently, Small didn't follow the proper protocol of submitting his question in writing ahead of the meeting, which is why he was taken outside, and eventually arrested.
Small now faces jail time for the incident, or a fine of up to $2,500.
The reason given for Small's ouster is bogus - that he didn't submit a question in writing. Whoever was running the meeting refused to let Small get his question asked without being interrupted. It was outrageous to watch (video here) as Small would start his question, be rudely interrupted, and then have to start over again. Small, agitated and beginning to shout because of the interruptions, then became a target. Of course, this gave the impression that he was monopolizing question time, which was probably why someone asked the security guard to handle the situation - a security guard who's actions only inflamed the situation.
At about the 2:50 mark, the rent-a-cop apparently shoves Mr. Small through a closed gymnasium door. If anyone in the situation committed assault, it was the rent-a-cop.
Mr. Small wasn't doing anything wrong or illegal. He was doing what every parent should do, in being involved in his children's education. But apparently being involved doesn't include being informed.
The security guard, who is reportedly a police officer who was working at the meeting in his off-duty time, needs to be investigated. Was race a factor in his decision to first manhandle an innocent father and then charge that father with crimes? Did he inform Mr. Small that he is a police officer? He apparently did not in the recorded sequence above.
The administrators who led the meeting need to be investigated. How was the meeting security trained? What were they told to look and listen for? Why were they only addressing edited and softball questions? What are they so intent to hide that they had security try to humiliate a father and ruin his life with criminal charges?
To be accurate, the cop was apparently wearing his badge around his neck and showed it to Small twice. Still, for the authorities to employ police power to silence a citizen is chilling.
As the Obama era moves forward, there appears - anecdotally anyway - to be less and less acountability for officials at every level of government. Citizens are not expected - or allowed - to ask tough questions of anyone - from local school officials on up to the president. It's a worrying trend that needs to be reversed or fundamental liberties will be lost.