A New Hampshire father was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct on Monday after he expressed concern at a school board meeting about a book his ninth grade daughter was assigned to read. William Baer took issue with a scene in Jodi Picoult’s novel Nineteen Minutes that details a graphic sexual encounter.
Officials at Gilford High School claim the book contains important themes about a school shooting. According to WCVB-TV, however, the book contains “a graphic description of rough sex between two teenagers,” and parents were not made aware of such content until the book had already been distributed to students.
School district officials did not answer any questions about the book on Monday, but in the past, the school has sent out notifications to parents before assigning the controversial book. That protocol was not followed this year.
In an interview with EAG News, Baer explained he came across the book’s questionable material by happenstance when a family friend happened to flip through the book and read the graphic scene aloud.
“I was shocked when I read the passage, and not much shocks me anymore,” Baer said. “My wife was stunned by the increasingly graphic nature of the sexual content of the scene and the imagery it evoked.”
Baer attempted to raise those concerns at the school board meeting. Below is video that captures his arrest:
On radio this morning, Glenn questioned how out of control our society has become that no one else in the room so much as protested the man’s arrest. While Baer is clearly agitated, his behavior certainly does not seem to warrant an arrest.
“Now, I could imagine that you are arrested for standing up and being vile in public,” Glenn said. “That wasn’t the case. This was held in a library and this was held with… maybe 15 or 20 adults in there. And they were talking to the school board, and he said why is this happening.”
In an effort to add a bit of levity to the situation, Pat read a somewhat edited version of the novel’s graphic scene in his best Al Gore impersonation.
Check out the slightly disturbing dramatic reading below:
“Seriously?! My 14-year-old daughter is reading this? I don’t want her reading it. I’m not going to read that,” Glenn said exasperatedly. “If I can’t read it on the air, how could you assign this to my daughter so read?”
As Glenn explained, people are up in arms when Bible passage are read in public schools, and yet far too many seem perfectly fine with 14-year-olds reading a graphic rape scene.
“If you question it, they arrest you,” Glenn concluded. “We are becoming a vile, vile society. Really vile.”