A New Jersey mom says her third-grade daughter was “bullied” by school officials and left out of an end-of-year cupcake and juice box party because she opted out of the state’s version of Common Core testing, Fox News reports.
Michele Thornton said school officials would not let 9-year-old Cassidy participate in Monday’s party, telling her the bash was only for students who took the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) exams.
Thornton feels especially bad because it was she who told the girl not to take the controversial test, which critics say is part of a plan by Washington to nationalize school curriculums.
“She shouldn’t be punished for something I did,” Thornton said. “She’s not a bad kid. It’s bullying. I’m not 9, they can’t bully me.”
Thornton said on the day of the party, she picked her daughter, Cassidy, up early from school instead of having her spend the afternoon in the library since she wasn’t allowed to go to the party.
“When I went in to pick her up there were two gaming trucks, an outdoor play area (soccer and volleyball), cupcakes, juice boxes, and buckets full of prizes for the kids,” Thornton told Fox News.
“She left school crying,” she said.
The mother also alleged that she had received pushback from the school when she told school officials in November that she did not want her daughter to participate in the exam.
“They pressured me to make her take it,” Thornton said. “I told them that it was against the law to force my daughter to participate.”
She claimed that her daughter was pulled out of class one day after the exam and questioned by the school counselor about why she did not take the PARCC test.
Thornton complained to the school, which launched an investigation, but the school concluded that they were not bullying Thornton’s daughter.
“Mr. and Mrs. Thornton,” the email provided to Fox News said. “The HIB [harassment, intimidation, and bullying] investigation has been completed. Findings indicate that harassment, intimidation and bullying did not occur.”