Marietta, Georgia Public Schools.  Tracey and Mary Finney, parents of two children enrolled in the Marietta Public Schools were asked to meet with the principal after they had e-mailed an opt out form for the CRCT Test the prior day.  When the parents arrived, the principal did not come out of their office, but instead they were met with a police officer.   The officer asked the parents if they would be opting their children out of the test, they concurred and the officer said they would be charged with  trespass unless they left immediately.  The officer then escorted them off the premises.

Here is the letter that the Finney’s received from their Assistant Superintendent shortly after arriving home.

“This is the response the Marietta City Schools Assistant Superintendent sent to me. It was put in a PDF File and sent back to the school principal, to be forwarded back to me. 
There was a second PDF File that had the policies and uses of the testing. Specifically “160-4-2-.11 PROMOTION, PLACEMENT, AND RETENTION.”
I feel this was done to eat up time as tomorrow morning is the CRCT Testing.
Submitted for your enjoyment:
“Dear Mr. and Mrs. Finney;
This letter is written in response to your email of Monday April 14, 2014, regarding the upcoming administration of the CRCT, which is to begin tomorrow, Wednesday, April 16, 2014. Please be assured that I have reviewed the concerns expressed in your letter and taken them seriously.
The District must deny your request that your students be exempt from participation in the CRCT or other standardized testing as well as reporting and recording of such scores. Federal and state law mandate the administration of these assessments. It is important for you to understand the potential consequences of electing not to participate in such nationally and state-required assessments. These may include but not be limited to effects on students’ on-time graduation, promotion to next grade level, placement and final subject grades. Please refer to Georgia Department of Education Rule 160-4-2-.11, as related to promotion of students in the
third and fifth grades. A copy has been attached for your reference.
You also shared concerns regarding the fifth grade field trip. Fifth grade students that are absent any day during the regular testing window will not be permitted to attend the trip. This is not a punishment, but based upon necessity as the trip is scheduled to begin the day after CRCT testing is complete. Therefore, any necessary makeup testing is likely to conflict with the field trip dates.
I hope that this information has been helpful in addressing some of your concerns and questions.
Please feel free to contact me if I may be of further assistance.
With sincere appreciation,
Associate Superintendent”

This is the Finney’s response.

“My response to them is below (i do not have access to a computer that allows me to work easily, forgive the long post). Dr. S is the Principal, Dr. H is the Associate Superintendent, and Dr. L is the Superintendent.
“Dr. S, Dr. H, and Dr. L:
I received the PDF files of the response from Dr. H and Dr. L.
Dr. H did not send me an email, but send a PDF file, so I could not reply to them directly. Dr S, would you please forward this to them? I am not in a position to search for their email addresses at this time.
The majority of this communication is directed at Dr. H and Dr. L, with Dr. S included so that she is kept in the loop… so to speak.
I believe that there was a MAJOR misunderstanding in what I communicated in my email Sunday night/Monday morning.
In no way, shape, or form, did either my wife or I ask for anyone to give us permission. What I said was that WE REFUSE to allow our children to be given the CRCT Test. I do not require permission to refuse something.
Yet the response stated that, “The District must deny your request that your students be exempt from participation in the CRCT or other standardized testing…”
Once again… I did not “request” anything. I told you that my children would not participate.
I have read most of the Federal and State laws concerning this test, and there is nothing in the verbiage that states that the Rights of the Parents are declared void in the process of implementing the CRCT Testing. If I missed the point where we cease to be parents, I would like you to point those out to me.
You also did not specify the direct State and Federal Laws that say that the parents are not allowed to REFUSE their child’s participation in the CRCT Testing. The fact is that the laws do not tell us we can not refuse the testing. We actually have that right.
The laws do state that you are required to conduct the testing, what it is used for, etc… but I may have missed the part about the suspension of the Due Process Clause of the 14th Amendment of the Constitution of the United States. Can you please forward that to me also?
As I mentioned in my original email communication, we are refusing to allow our children to be tested under the CRCT process as we have found that it is detrimental to their health and well being, and it is our duty to prevent further harm to come to them. Please reread to my original email about this reference.
Because we did not “Opt-Out” (a term that we did not use) of the testing, but REFUSED participation means that there ARE NO MAKE UP DATES. If we were allowing the children to participate and they missed a day of testing, of course they would have to make it up.
But the fact is that they are simply not taking it. If they are not taking any part of it, in any way, on any date, then there is zero makeup of the test.
That was my question about the trip. So, having bluntly restated the original REFUSAL of our children to participate in the CRCT Testing, the logical result is that my daughter will be allowed to participate in the 5th grade trip because she will not have missed any of the testing days. (again, if they are not taking it, they can “miss” it, and if they do not “miss” it, they do not make it up)
Refusing her participation in a trip she has been talking about all year is wrong. There is zero documentation that says children are not allowed to go on the trip if they do not participate in the CRCT Testing. If that exists, we would need to see that. Again, this is not a “missed” thing, it is the fact that their parents refused to allow them to take it. There is zero verbiage on that.
We simply ask that our children be allowed to complete homework, alternate lessons, study, or some other beneficial task to further their education during the testing times. They will not sit in the testing rooms to stare quietly as we will take that as a direct violation of our parental directives in the proper treatment of our children.
Please refer to my original email communication if you have any questions. Please remember to remove the thoughts or interpretations that this communication is some type of negotiation, or request for permission, over our children participating in the CRCT Testing, because it most definitely is not.
We fully support MCS following the required laws that govern you, but more importantly, we fully support the rights of parents to guide the education of their children. The laws that you must follow in this course of testing do not overwrite the laws that support the parents rights to protect their children.
Dr. S: as I was writing this, I saw your email come in. My wife and I will be at the school tomorrow morning at 07:15am to meet with you.
I have no question other that what my children will be doing to further their education during the testing times as they will not be participating.
Thank you for your time.
Tracy and Mary Finney”

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