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Politics

Common Core Opponents Gather Nationwide, Bristle at Live Rally

July 22, 2014 - 6:00pm

Common Core opponents gathered in theaters across the country for a live event Tuesday evening to shed light on what they believe is a dangerous set of educational standards being implemented across the United States.

For more than two hours, We Will Not Conform, hosted by conservative radio host Glenn Beck, was broadcast in over 600 theaters across the U.S.

Beck was joined by commentators Michelle Malkin and David Barton, both of whom have been staunch critics of Common Core. Other opponents from across the country joined them, all pledging to do whatever they could to stop Common Core.

When you start screwing with our children, we all unite on that, Beck told viewers.

We Will Not Conform mostly centered around creating an active, engaging plan to fight against Common Core. Participants answered poll questions and voiced concerns via text messages, emails and tweets, all centered around the standards.

One of the poll questions asked was which politicians they felt were the best national leaders against Common Core. Sens. Rand Paul and Ted Cruz walked away with the most mentions from viewers, but Texas Gov. Rick Perry and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal were also contenders.

Participants heard stories from activists, parents and students who claimed to be negatively affected by Common Core standards.

One of the mothers detailed the harrowing psychological consequences of Common Core, which she said made her 7-year-old feel demoralized, ultimately resulting in being placed in therapy to deal with the emotional consequences of the standards.

Leaders of the event warned participants that the standards were never tested appropriately before being implemented, making it unclear whether theyll actually be more effective than older education standards.

"Our kids are not anybody else's guinea pigs, said Michelle Malkin.

When participants left the theater, Beck directed them to a special websiteto download an action plan for opposing the standards presented during the broadcast. Some of the steps included establishing relationships with educators, getting organized, and persistence.

Dr. Karen Effrem, president and co-founder of Florida Stop Common Core Coalition, told Sunshine State News she hoped the event would help those frustrated with Common Core realize theyre not alone.

We think this can be a great positive in expanding this coalition as people from all viewpoints realize what a dangerous, ineffective, and expensive system this is and we work toward developing a major action plan, said Effrem.

Rep. Debbie Mayfield, R-Vero Beach, who has been one of the most vocal state legislators against Common Core, tuned into the broadcast and called yet again for the standards to be repealed in Florida.

Fl just repackaged that is why fl has the most attending we need to [repeal], she tweeted.

Florida adopted Common Core in 2010, but after a slew of criticism from parents, teachers and members of the public over the standards, the Florida Department of Education made around 100 changes to Common Core and rebranded it under a different name.

At the end of the broadcast, Beck urged participants to stay the course against Common Core, regardless of the naysayers.

"Society teaches you you're not qualified. That's the biggest lie, he said. You're smart enough. You can figure it out."

Reach Tampa-based reporter Allison Nielsen atAllison@sunshinestatenews.comor follow her on Twitter at@AllisonNielsen.

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