Common Core Launch Off To Rough Start In New York, Students Denied Ice Cream For Opting Out


Angry parents, an eighth-grade student suspended, and children denied ice cream in one school district.

Those are just a few of the cases from when Common Core testing rolled out in New York, the first state to implement the test component of the nationalized educational standard, Fox News reports.

Seirra Olivero, 13, an eighth grader at Orange-Ulster BOCES, says she was suspended from school last week after informing other students they could opt out of taking the Common Core English test. Few students and parents in the area knew about the option, according to the girl’s mother.

"I told my friend he didn’t have to take the test and then a teacher who overheard me told me to shut my mouth and keep walking," Seirra told

She proceeded to tell other friends that they were not required to take the test, which she believes “is set up for the kids to fail,” according to The Times Herald-Record.

She was called to the principal’s office, where she was questioned for her actions.

The 13-year-old student was suspended for two days for “insubordination” after the April 1 incident.

Her mother, Carin Beauchesne, of Sparrowbush, N.Y., claims her daughter had been bullied by the administrators and that their actions were not justified, reported.

"I am very upset and the principal hasn't even spoken to me yet," Beauchesne said. "Seirra's never been suspended before. She’s never even been to the principal. She’s a very, very good girl."

Beachesne also noted that she filed a complaint under the state’s Dignity for All Students Act, which protects students from discrimination, intimidation and harassment.

Orange-Ulster BOCES’s superintendent William Hect declined to comment on an individual student’s case, but said, "On that day, we had nine other students who opted out of taking the test and they were not disciplined."

"We do discipline for violating the code of conduct," he told

Meanwhile, the Arkport Central School District decided to reward students between third and sixth grade who took the Common Core English test with ice cream, while denying the sweet treat to those children who opted out of the exam.

Julianne Merry, a mother of three who is against the Common Core curriculum, said that while her children were not directly affected, she thought the decision was a poor one.

"Some say 'bribery,' but it was never offered beforehand. I don't think it was done to reward to those children who took the test. I think it was done as a slap on the hand to those of us who refused," she told

"They're punishing the kids for a choice made by their parents," said Merry, who has children in the second, seventh and ninth grades.

The school superintendent defended the school’s actions.

“Very sorry it was taken in the light that it was taken,” Superintendent Glenn Niles said, according to WLEA News. “We try to do a simple token, as we’ve done every year that we’ve ever tested, and this year was no different. We just had more kids that didn’t take the tests, and therefore, it was a little bigger deal, so we will evaluate what we will do in the future.”

However, Merry claims that is not true.

"The administration had never offered a reward to the children for taking a test,” she said.

Parents in a number of New York school districts are already keeping their children from taking the exam.


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