Nov 18, 2013 7:50 PM by Allison Bourne-Vanneck
Some parents in Acadiana took their children out of school today to protest against the Common Core curriculum adopted by the state. The local walk-outs were part of a nationwide protest, against the new education standards.
Louisiana's Board of Elementary and Secondary Education approved Common Core back in 2010. The 2013 school year was supposed to be a transitional year, but instead state schools were told they'd have to fully implement Common Core curriculums this school year.
While there has been big debate over Common Core, the turnout at a protest in Lafayette was relatively low.
"It's better that one person speaking for many people, than many people speaking for one person," six grader Wayne Laine said, who was protesting against Common Core.
About 20 people showed up at Girard Park for the protest. Among the protesters was 16-year-old Winter Hanks, a high school junior, who's having a hard time making the grade this year.
"I've cried a couple times, I come home and I'm not making the kind of grades I want to make, I'm trying the hardest I can," Winter Hanks said. "I made a "C" for the second time in my life on my report card. I (had) to do something about it. You know, I had to come out here," she said.
Hanks thinks Common Core is to blame, and says it was implemented too fast and not just for students.
"Teachers are struggling because they have deadlines they have to meet, they have certain goals they have to meet, and they're not going to meet it because they're not going to have time for anything," Hanks said. "It's unfair for the teachers and the students," she said.
For now, her message for students who may feel the same way she does, is to take a stand, and not stay quiet.
"If you're scared to speak up and say something, don't. Nothing is going to change unless you do it. The adults, your parents can say whatever they want, but it's never going to happen unless you go out and you do it," Hanks said.
Not every school system in Acadiana would report the number of student absences. Lafayette, St. Martin, Iberia, and Acadia Parish say today was pretty much a normal day as far as absences.
School systems in Vermilion, St. Mary, and Jeff Davis Parish say their absence numbers were slightly higher than normal. St. Landry Parish couldn't say how many students were absent, and there wasn't a response from Evangeline Parish.
Acadiana parishes we spoke to also say a reported absence because of participating in a Common Core protest would be counted as unexcused.