A New Hampshire parent was arrested at a Monday night school board meeting after he voiced outrage his ninth grade daughter was assigned a book that contains a page detailing a graphic sexual encounter.
Gilford school officials claim the book, “Nineteen Minutes” by Jodi Picoult, contains important themes about a school shooting. But some parents believe a scene described in the book is inappropriate for their children.
According to WCVB-TV, the book contains a graphic description of rough sex between two teenagers, which parents were unaware of until the book had already been distributed to their kids.
“I was shocked when I read the passage and not much shocks me anymore,” William Baer told EAG News. “My wife was stunned by the increasingly graphic nature of the sexual content of the scene and the imagery it evoked.”
He went to the school board meeting to express his objections.
“It’s absurd,” he told the school board.
“Sir, would you please be respectful of the other people?” a school board member responded.
“Like you’re respectful of my daughter, right? And my children?” he countered.
A police officer then arrived at the scene, instructing Baer to leave with him.
“You are going to arrest me because I violated the two-minute rule?” the father said. “I guess you are going to have to arrest me.”
Moments later, Baer was escorted outside and placed in handcuffs. According to WMUR-TV, he was charged with disorderly conduct because he did not immediately leave when asked by an officer.
His wife spoke to the media shortly after the incident.
“I fully understand how he feels. It really is a huge violation,” Barbara Baer told WCVB.
“Why should those ideas be put in their mind? They can discuss this some other way. They don’t need that kind of imagery,” she added.
School district officials said they normally send out notifications to parents before assigning the controversial book, but forgot to do so this time.
According to WCVB, school officials did not answer any questions Monday or vote on anything regarding the book.
“Many people in education and government truly believe our children are theirs,” William Baer told EAG News. “That parents are only the custodians who feed them and put a roof over their head. These school incidents are a byproduct of this ‘we know best’ philosophy. They believe they have the authority to do this. If people were more complacent, which is hard to imagine, it’d be even worse.”
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