Dad Arrested After Protesting Daughter's School Novel
He thinks young-adult book is too racy
By John Johnson, Newser Staff
Posted May 8, 2014 1:50 PM CDT
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(Newser) – A New Hampshire father who thought his daughter's high school assigned a book too racy for young teens ended up under arrest at a school board meeting, reports CBS Boston. William Baer complained during the meeting that a particular passage in Jodi Picoult's young-adult novel Nineteen Minutes "reads like a transcript for a triple X porno movie" and that parents should have gotten advance notice. When Baer exceeded his allotted two minutes and refused requests to be quiet, a Gilford police officer put him in handcuffs, reports WMUR.

“There were repeated attempts to ask him to stop,” says the officer. “I asked him to leave. He refused. He said, 'Arrest me or I’m not going to’… so I did.” Baer got charged with disorderly conduct, and the school promised to do a better job of notifying parents about controversial reading material. The Picoult novel is about a school shooting, and it's been part of the freshmen curriculum since 2007. Baer's 14-year-old daughter is siding with dad, notes the Union Leader. “I just watched my father get arrested because he broke the two-minute rule at a board of education meeting,” said Marina Baer. “This just shows that you resort to force at the first turn of conflict and I am appalled. ... I honestly don’t feel safe around you people.”

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Showing 3 of 161 comments
May 9, 2014 3:44 PM CDT
As usual, so many deflections that the real issues are lost. Any parent has the God-given right to determine how their child is raised and what they are exposed to. As a parent, and also a former school principal, I would argue that God holds parents ultimately accountable for raising/training their children, and that the school is only a part of the process. Many teachers and administrators have this warped idea that the parent works to aid the teacher, when in reality it is the exact opposite. I will always be my son's father. That applied when he was born and will continue until either he or I is dead. So, not only was the school wrong in not notifying this parent beforehand regarding the content of such a book, they were wrong in trying to take the father's God-given duties of raising his daughter upon themselves. On a lighter note, I'd be very willing to bet that if the father had been praising the book, it's content, and the school's "wonderful insight" in selecting course material, he could have spoken for 2 HOURS without incident.
Tom Maker
May 9, 2014 1:01 PM CDT
What part of follow the rules don't people understand. The father was a rude jerk who has a sense of entitlement. Why should he get more time that the other parents???
Arthur Vandelay
May 9, 2014 10:37 AM CDT
It also happened in Katy Texas were a mother protested to the board that she was not notified with who her son communicates on the internet during computer class. She was a single mother trying to do her best to protect her son