SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Citizens, teachers, and lawmakers recently filled the Hall of Governors at the Utah State Capitol in protest of Common Core.
After two years of push back, the numbers are only growing as if a sleeping giant has awakened. Like in other states, many thought this fight would die down – but it’s only getting stronger.
Opponents of Common Core have previously armed themselves with knowledge and so the purpose of the rally was to take that knowledge and inspire opponents to action, to help them organize in their local communities and finally to serve as a warning to lawmakers to take a stand against Common Core or be voted out of office. “We expect Utah legislators to take action. We expect you to listen to the people,” said rally organizer and anti-Common Core advocate Alisa Ellis. “This is an election year. We are taking note of who is with us and who is not, and we will be making our voices heard in the voting booth.”
Not all lawmakers are sitting silent. Rally supporters cheered at the introduction of bills by Representative Green and Layton that will return control of schools back into the hands of local communities. Senator Margaret Dayton reminded audience that “even if the standards were perfect they come from the wrong source.”
Speakers set the tone of the meeting and turned the momentum back on the people to grab the reigns and take back control of their schools. Radio show host, Rod Arquette, told an inspiring story of Seahawk’s quarterback Russell Wilson who followed the lifelong advice of his dad who asked, “Russ, why not you?” Russ took that advice to heart and inspired fellow Seahawks to their recent Super Bowl win. Arquette mirrored these sentiments back on the crowd and asked, “why not us? If we don’t stand up and fight who will?” Mental health therapist Joan Landes pumped up the crowd after laying out a myriad of injustices being placed upon our children and the crowd joined with her in exclaiming “NOT with my child you won’t!”
Several teachers also spoke out at the rally including teacher and author Sinhue Noriega who teaches in Utah but chooses to homeschool his own children. When asked what is wrong with Common Core, Mr. Noriega declared the answer is simple, “it’s not constitutional!”