WINTER PARK, Fla. – A Florida parent was forced to take drastic measures when her public school refused to release her child during a dispute over standardized testing.
Jacqui Myers says another mother with a child at Winter Park’s Brookshire Elementary School called her after she arrived at the school to opt her fifth-grade daughter out of standardized testing related to the Common Core national standards initiative.
“They’re not giving me my child, can you help?” the mother told Myers.
Myers, the mother of a first grader, is active in a group working to opt children out of state tests and was at the school counseling parents.
She called 911 to report that the school wouldn’t release the child.
The school told the mother they did not want to release the child because she was in the middle of testing. But when police arrived, the school relented and turned her over.
Myers tells the Orlando Sentinel that emails from school administrators stated that “releasing students during testing would be disruptive and not be allowed.”
But after the incident, a school spokesman denied such a policy existed.
“We do not hold children if parents come to pick them up,” Shari Bobinski says, according to the paper.
The opt out movement has sprouted up across the country in the last year amid concerns the federally funded standardized tests are collecting personal data on students beyond how well they’re reading and writing.
Fox News reported parents sent a letter to then-Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett with their concerns about the extent of data that could end up in state and federal databases.
“The personally identifiable information includes information on every student’s personality, attitudes, values, beliefs, and disposition, a psychological profile called Interpersonal Skills Standards and anchors,” reads the letter sent to Corbett in December.
“This data has been illegally obtained through deceptive means without the parents’ knowledge or consent through screening, evaluations, testing, and surveys. These illegal methods of information gathering were actually fraudulently called ‘academic standards’ on the [Pennsylvania] Department of Education website portal.”
“This follows them from the cradle to the grave,” Tracy Ramey, of Pennsylvanians against Common Core, told FoxNews.com.
While some states allow opting out of testing, others, like Florida, do not.
To fight back, parents are instructing their children to take the initial step of participating – breaking the seal on a test booklet or logging into the test on a computer – but then refuse to do anything else.
The Ohio legislature passed a bill that bars schools from punishing students who opt out.
Prior to the legislation, state officials and educators said students could face “serious consequences, including third-graders not advancing to fourth grade and high school seniors denied diplomas,” according to WCPO.