ARKPORT, N.Y. – Were officials in the Arkport Central School District being petty and vindictive in their treatment of children whose parents removed them from Common Core testing?

If so, they went about it in the worst possible way – by giving an ice cream treat to the third through sixth grade students who took the tests, and denying those who didn’t.

Parents of the opt-out kids were simply exercising their legal rights, and they’re angered that their children had to pay the price in such an obviously nasty manner.

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After all, The fair and equitable distribution of ice cream is a very serious matter to elementary students.

The school superintendent tried to explain away the controversy, claiming the slight was unintentional.

“Very sorry it was taken in the light that it was taken,” Superintendent Glenn Niles said, according to WLEA News. “We try to do a simple token, as we’ve done every year that we’ve ever tested, and this year was no different. We just had more kids that didn’t take the tests, and therefore, it was a little bigger deal, so we will evaluate what we will do in the future.”

As if he had no idea that small children might be upset when their classmates got ice cream and they didn’t. If Niles was genuinely surprised by the reaction, he has no business working around youngsters because he clearly does not understand them.

Niles and the school principal said they were very upset about the community reaction to the ice cream scandal.

“Some of the things said about me, about Mrs. Dewey (the principal), and about the school are really just plain ugly,” Niles said.

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Dewey indicated she had been threatened and was worried about the safety of her family, the news report said.

These folks are public servants, and they should know there are knuckleheads out there who are going to speak and act in a moronic fashion over any type of controversy. It comes with the territory.

But if Niles and Dewey really want citizens to stop saying nasty things, they should try to avoid obviously provocative actions, like giving some kids ice cream and denying others.

That’s just asking for big trouble, and they certainly are getting their share.