Charges Dropped Against Baltimore County Parent

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After speaking out of turn at a meeting about the new federal Common Core school standards, Robert Small of Ellicott City was hit with charges that could have put him in jail for 10 years — second degree assault and disturbing a school function. Now the Baltimore County State’s Attorney Scott Shellenberger has dropped both charges.

Shellenberger maintained that the officer who escorted Smalls out of the meeting “did have probable cause to make an arrest on both charges,” despite the moment when Smalls allegedly assaulted the officer being absent from the video footage and “no one in the audience [seeing] Small shove the officer.”

The takeaway for Baltimore County Schools Superintendent Dallas Dance? That “we must do a better job of communicating what the Common Core is and what it is not.” Yes, please.

Could we also now address Small’s question: “how does lowering educational standards prepare kids for … college?”

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  1. It is not evident from the clip I saw online that Mr. Small was speaking “out of turn”. The clip does not show the beginning of his presentation; it is clear though that someone off-camera tries to interrupt him, and that another off-camera voice loudly suggests, “let him ask his question”. That would have been the prudent thing for the Board to have done: let him ask (even verbosely) his question. Then a board member would give a non-responsive reply, and his turn would be over.
    Instead, they called for security – an off duty police office who displays handcuffs and pushes Mr. Small to the back and out the door. If I were treated that way at a public meeting, I would be filing charges against the board. And sure as blazes I would work to get them replaced at the next election.
    This has zero to do with Common Core and everything to do with giving the citizens due respect from those they elect. He is a taxpayer, a parent of a student in that system,and entitled to be heard. The board was ill advised to give this citizen the bum’s rush. I hope he makes a big case of it.

  2. If the Board was only answering written questions it means they wanted to control the conversation. This fact alone should give us pause – why in the world should we accept any curriculum that diminishes the educational standards of the next generation, therefore increasing the gap between the United States and competing nations? It is incredibly short sighted. But to have a parent thrown out and threatened with an offence that carries up to ten years is truly alarming. Thank goodness Shellenberger had the good sense to drop the charges.

    For the sake of a balanced discussion, does anyone have something good to say about Common Core? I’ve only heard negatives.

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