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It was one of the “I can’t believe this is happening” moments. A dad who has just recently learned that his daughter was being forced to read a book with graphic sexual content spoke out against the book in a local school board meeting. The board members cut him off and demanded he be respectful of the proceedings.

“It’s absurd,” William Baer said at the school board meeting.

 “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.

dad arrested“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.

The controversial book they were discussing is 19 Minutes by Jodi Picoult. The book was added to the school’s curriculum because it contains important thematic elements discussing a school shooting. However, the overly descriptive scene depicting sex between teenagers stands out and many parents say even overshadows the more important themes dealing with the pain of a school shooting.

Picoult says that the school district has been supportive of her work – but for their part, the district has not responded to inquiry from the media.

There are several unnerving pieces to this story. The first is that these parents were not notified when the school decided that this book we be a part of the required reading for the year. The second is that dissent was so quickly crushed by the school board and that a parent was arrested simply because he protested the schools decision to force his child to read a book with explicit sexual activity. It’s a disgusting miscarriage of the trust parents place in the hands of their children’s teachers.

 

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