Video out of a Baltimore public forum from Thursday night shows a man being confronted and kicked out of a meeting for asking too many questions about the Common Core educational standards that will soon be implemented in Maryland public schools.
The man, 46-year-old Robert Small, is seen on video asking a series of questions to Maryland State Department of Education officials. The topic of the forum was the Common Core State Standards program, a measure Small is obviously not a fan of. The Common Core program seeks to standardize educational standards in public schools across the country. 45 states have adopted the program, including Maryland.
Small is among many who believe the initiative will lower educational standards across the country.
"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.
Small’s remark was applauded by attendees at the meeting, but officials can be heard asking the man to sit down so that others could voice their own questions.
Small refused to sit down and stop talking, and an off duty police officer serving as security at the event confronts him. The officer is heard on the video saying “let’s go” to Small.
Small continued to speak, and the officer then grabbed him and forced him to leave the room. As he was leaving the room, Smalls told fellow attendees not to accept what was happening to him.
"Parents, take control," Small said. "I'm not an activist, I'm a parent. I have a right to speak."
In a shocking move, Small was arrested by Baltimore Police. He has been charged with assaulting an officer and disrupting a school functions. The assault charge is particularly surprising, as Small is not seen using physical force against the officer in the video.
Baltimore Police responded to questions to the media today, saying that Small yelled at and pushed the officer once off camera. If convicted of the assault charge, Small faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a $2,500 fine.
“Look, I am being manhandled and shut down because I asked inconvenient questions,” Small told The Baltimore Sun on Friday. “Why won’t they allow an open forum where there can be a debate? We are told to sit there and be lectured to about how great Common Core is.”
Here is the video of Small being kicked out of the meeting: