Update: Charges dropped against dad arrested for objecting to Common Core

Font Size:

On Monday, the Baltimore County state’s attorney’s office took one look at the case against the father in suburban Baltimore who was violently arrested for objecting to the implementation of the Common Core at a public forum and promptly dropped all charges, reports The Baltimore Sun.

A police report concerning the incident alleged that Ellicott City parent Robert Small tried to push a security guard away after stood up out of order at the public meeting. Video taken by blogger Ann Miller shows no such thing.

A second-degree assault levied against Small carries a maximum fine of $2,500 and a prison term of up to 10 years. A second charge, disturbing a school operation, carries a $2,500 fine and six months in prison.

“It was clear that Mr. Small violated the rules of the meeting and disrupted the meeting. It was also clear that the officer acted appropriately and did have probable cause to make an arrest on both charges,” a statement by the state’s attorney’s office said. “In the interest of justice, further prosecution will not accomplish anything more. Therefore, the charges have been dismissed.”

Small became a viral-video sensation over the weekend after he stood up out of order during a question-and-answer forum held by the Maryland State Department of Education. He explained — calmly, though in a more or less rambling fashion — his belief that the Common Core lowers education standards. (RELATED: Now they’re arresting people who complain about the Common Core)

For his trouble, a security guard pulled the 46-year-old father aggressively in the direction of the aisle.

As the guard escorted Small out of the forum, Small said “Don’t stand for this. You are sitting here like cattle.” Then he asked, “Is this America?”

Small, who has a sixth-grader and a second-grader in Howard County, Md. schools, was then charged with assaulting a police officer in the second degree.

The video of the security guard tossing Small, 46, around like a ragdoll has been viewed nearly 800,000 times on YouTube since it went viral over the weekend.

The father of two grade-school daughters also became a darling of conservative talk radio hosts throughout the day Monday.

According to The Sun, a couple area lawyers offered to represent Small at no charge. There has also been a deluge of emails from people around the country. Some emailers want to help; others merely want to applaud Small for his actions.

State politicians have also entered the fray to defend Small and to criticize the actions of the security guard and the police.

This fall, for the first time, 45 states and the District of Columbia have begun implementing the Common Core State Standards Initiative, which attempts to standardize various K-12 curricula around the country.

Criticism of the Common Core has risen sharply. Opposition has brought together conservatives who are opposed to a federal takeover of public education and leftists who deplore ever-more standardized testing.

Follow Eric on Twitter and send education-related story tips to