A New Hampshire dad has been arrested for protesting a book being taught in his daughter's high school honors English class that contained a sexually explicit passage.
The arrest occurred during a Monday school board meeting at Gilford High School when, after violating a two-minute speaking rule, William Baer was led out of the meeting by a police officer acting under the instructions of the school board. At the time of his removal, Baer had returned to his seat and stopped engaging the school board.
Once in the school hallway, Baer was put in handcuffs and led away to a police car in the parking lot. When asked by another concerned parent why the father was being arrested, the police officer responded, "disorderly conduct."
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The book, which Baer and other parents at the New Hampshire high school objected to, is "Nineteen Minutes," written by New Hampshire author Jodi Picoult. According to school officials it has been a part of the curriculum since 2007, WMUR-TV reported
"It was basically, you make a statement, say what you want and sit down," Baer told WMUR-TV. "Sit down and shut up, basically, and that's not how you interact with adults."
"I've never read anything like this," Baer added with regards to the book. "It's like the transcript for a triple-X-rated movie."
"I'm outraged that Gilford High School would require my daughter to read this kind of material," Baer told the Laconia Daily Sun
. "I feel that I'm in the process of being violated by the state of New Hampshire's education system. It's not there place to dictate and I’m outraged that Gilford High School would require my daughter to read this kind of material."
Baer, an attorney, clarified that he wasn't arguing for a book ban, but rather that the school had improperly notified parents about the contentS of the reading material.
When asked about the arrest, Gilford Police Lt. James Leach told WMUR-TV, "He spoke out of order."
"Someone else was given the floor and was speaking. He interrupted them and continued after being asked to stop," Leach continued. "He was then asked to leave and refused to leave unless he was arrested, so he was arrested."
If convicted, the New Hampshire dad faces a fine of up to $1,200. Baer says he will fight the arrest.
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