To get a child out of a Common Core test, a parent had police called because the school refused to cooperate.
While this story is related to Common Core, I think it would be a mistake to focus too much on Common Core. When a parent calls police to liberate a child from captivity, the problem is the captors themselves, not the reason they give to justify their actions. This is a story about public school in general as an anti-family institution.
According to the Orlando Sentinel, “Parent, school in conflict over opting out.”
A parent of a fifth grader at Brookshire Elementary School in Winter Park was initially told she could not pick up her daughter, who was opting out of the state’s new writing test, according to another parent who witnessed the incident this morning. That other parent said she called police.
Jacqui Myers of Winter Park – a Brookshire parent active in the local opt-out movement – said the fifth grader’s mother came outside and told her, “They’re not giving me my child, can you help?”
The school did not want to release the child initially because when her mother arrived students had been testing for 20 minutes and were in the middle of writing essays, said Shari Bobinski, a district spokesman. The principal explained her concern to the mother, she added.
Myers, who has a first grader at the school, said she was outside the school to provide support to parents who were having their children refuse to take the writing section of the new Florida Standards Assessments.
She called 911 when the other mother said her daughter would not be released. Earlier, Myers said she’d seen four other opt-out parents pick up their children and leave.
So to whom does the child belong?
I completely understand why a teacher might be frustrated by a child being pulled out of a class while a test is being taken. But that is the cost of being a teacher. If a parent wants their child removed from school, that should end all discussion. Saying “No” to such a parent is not an option.
But they did it anyway, so a woman had to dial 911. The resource officer for the school heard the call and came to the school. At that point the school complied with the parent’s demand.
As you can see above, the school claimed that they had the authority to keep the first grader because the Common Core test had already started. As it turned out, this was a made-up rationalization:
Myers said the school’s principal, in earlier emails to parents, had said that releasing students during testing would be disruptive and not be allowed.
But the district has no policy that would allow school officials to detain a child under such circumstances, she said.
Bobinski agreed. “We do not hold children if parents come to pick them up,” she wrote.
The principal, Susan Mulchrone, could not be reached, either at the school or by phone.
So the rule seems to be that you gain authority by simply asserting new authority. Thankfully, in this case, that strategy failed.