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Parent Arrested After Asking Questions at School Meeting

Alexander Reed Kelly
Associate Editor
In December 2010, Alex was arrested for civil disobedience outside the White House alongside Truthdig columnist Chris Hedges, Pentagon whistle-blower Daniel Ellsberg, healthcare activist Margaret Flowers and…
Alexander Reed Kelly

A Baltimore father was forced out of a public meeting between parents and leaders of his child’s school district Thursday and faces a possible 10½ years in jail on charges of assaulting a police officer after being removed when he dared to ask an unscripted question, reports an article on “Activist Post.”

The form of the meeting dictated that parents’ questions be submitted before the event and selected by organizers for discussion. Some attendants were upset at the level of control moderators had over the forum. Robert Small was among them.

“I want to know how many parents here are aware that the goal of the Common Core standards isn’t to prepare kids for full-fledged universities, it’s to prepare them for community college,” Small asked before he was approached by a man wearing a shirt with “security” on the back and a badge around his neck. An unseen moderator is heard saying that the meeting’s leaders wanted Small to stop talking out of “fairness to the other questions.” Small went on to tell the parents present that they have a right to an open debate about what’s best for their children and their community.

“Parents, take control. We’re sick of this. This is not a CNN political game,” Small is heard saying in the video as he is confronted by the security official. Visibly indifferent to Small’s concerns, the man begins handling Small with an calm roughness that suggests he’s all to eager to do his job. A few parents say they want to hear the father’s question and one woman stands up in apparent defiance of the removal.

“This is a public town hall,” Small said, turning to people in the seats. “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. … Do the research, it’s online.”

The video ends as Small is forced outside and the organizers recover control of the event. The source article says Small faces a possible 10½ years in jail if found guilty of assaulting a police officer and disrupting a school function.

— Posted by Alexander Reed Kelly.

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