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Mother suspended from child’s school after sounding alarm about Common Core

Mark Twain Elementary School
Mark Twain Elementary School
KXTV screen grab

It doesn’t get more Gestapoesque than this. ABC News affiliate KXTV has the story of a Sacramento mother who was visited by the police and served with a notice informing her that she would not be permitted onto school property for a period of 14 days. [News video here]

What had Katherine O'Neal Duran done to become persona non grata at Mark Twain Elementary School? Had she spit in the principal’s coffee? No, but she did something in the view of the administrators that was just as heinous. She had printed out and distributed forms to parents, which, by affixing their signature, would exempt their children from having to take the Common Core tests in math and English.

Questions arise, not least among them whether a school has legal standing to ban a parent because she disagrees with their teaching methodology. School officials don’t even seem that sure of why Duran was banished in the first place. Gabe Ross, a spokesman for the Sacramento Unified School District, told reporters:

It appears she went a little too far with regards to how she distributed information at school sites, distributing information to children directly.

But when Ross was confronted with the reality that Duran never even set foot on school grounds, instead having her son Christopher hand out the forms to classmates, he relented.

When it comes down to cases, the school district has no justification for blocking the First Amendment right of a student expressing his views by distributing a handout to fellow students, so long as he is not disrupting school activities. Yet that is precisely what administrators did when they confiscated the forms from Christopher.

"I think it's an effort to undermine the anti-Common Core movement," Katherine Duran says.

It sure appears as though she has a point.

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