Father Arrested While Objecting to Porn Novel on School’s Required Reading List

BaerGILFORD, N.H. — A father of a high school student in New Hampshire was recently arrested as he spoke out at a board meeting against a pornographic novel assigned to his daughter without his knowledge.

William Baer was escorted out of the room and placed in handcuffs on Monday when he continued to object to the assignment, which he said contains content so sexually graphic that he considered it to be pornography.

“I was shocked when I read the passage and not much shocks me anymore,” he told EAG News prior to the meeting. “My wife was stunned by the increasingly graphic nature of the sexual content of the scene and the imagery it evoked.”

The book at issue is Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult, a fictional tale about a school shooting that includes a sex scene between its two main characters. According to reports, the book has been a part of the English curriculum at Gilford High School since 2005.

However, when Baer’s daughter was assigned to read the book last week, parents were given no notice, neither any warning about the sexually explicit content in one of its chapters. He stated that he only learned of the material when his 14-year-old daughter told a visiting family friend that she was reading Nineteen Minutes. The friend picked up the book only to open to a graphic description of a sexual encounter.

Therefore, Baer attended Monday’s school board meeting to speak out, but felt insulted when he was provided only two minutes to express his concerns.

“It was basically, you make a statement, say what you want and sit down,” Baer told local television station WMUR. “Sit down and shut up, basically, and that’s not how you interact with adults.”

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When he continued talking past his allotted time, the school board asked him to stop speaking. When he refused, Lt. James Leach then approached Baer and told him to leave.

“You are going to arrest me because I violated the two-minute rule?” Baer asks in video footage of the incident. “I guess you are going to have to arrest me.”

Leach then escorted Baer out of the room and placed him in handcuffs. The concerned father was charged with disorderly conduct and released on $700 personal recognizance.

“We went into the police station, went through the booking process, and I sat there like a criminal,” he told reporters.

Baer faces a trial in June, where he could be fined up to $1,200.

In the meantime, the Gilford School Board has released a statement apologizing for failing to notify parents of the required reading assignment.

“The board apologizes for the discomfort of those impacted and for the failure of the school district to send home prior notice of assignment of the novel,” it wrote. “The district will take immediate action to revise these policies.”

The district did not apologize for Baer’s arrest surrounding his concern over his daughter being required to read pornographic material.

Photo: CBS-WB2


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