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.”

The cover of the book by Jodi Picoult.
The cover of the book by Jodi Picoult.   (Atria)
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Video of the school board meeting and the arrest.   (WMUR)

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