Father arrested at school board meeting after speaking out against controversial reading material

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:

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“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.”

  • Cricket

    I heard Glenn talk this morning about the bystanders at this school board meeting not even being able to look at the parent as he was arrested. The conservative movement (tea party) has plenty of people who will make a stand for our causes like this parent. What is missing is the “first and second followers” as labeled in the video I’ve attached. The 1st and 2nd follower are essential to begin a movement. I think these are the relationships that must be nurtured and built to move the conservative movement forward.

  • Lucas Forde

    How can a cop arrest the guy, cop wouldn’t want read this to a kid for bedtime?

  • Billy McLane

    What Beck doesn’t mention is the poor behavior and attitude this man showed during the meeting. He wouldn’t allow anyone who opposed him to talk, routinely interrupting board members and parents, and going over the allowed 2 min time frame. I’m not saying he shouldn’t object, but do it with a little more maturity. Living in Gilford, this is not the first time I’ve heard about the book. My cousin is in that class and when taught properly this book is very educational.

  • Anonymous

    No one should have to object to what is taught in taxpayer-funded schools. This is just another example of liberal tripe taking your money and laughing in your face about it. The father was concerned about his daughter. The principal was concerned about his stupid union job.

    What’s really important? Apparently, the rest of the lemmings at the meeting couldn’t even answer that question. Or, maybe they like the idea of innocence lost.

  • Anonymous

    The School Board should be arrested

  • Anonymous

    souds like himmler doesn’t like dissent

  • Darlinda Hamill

    Would you say then that you would eat bowl of hearty delicious soup if it only had one or two cockroaches? This kind of vile filth is NOT appropriate for our children. Period. You should be ashamed of yourself for even trying to defend this book for children!!!

  • Hugh Jass

    Stu and Glenn sound alike.

  • Billy McLane

    I guess you didn’t actually read my post. I wasn’t defending the book. I was commenting on the father getting arrested. Nice analogy with the soup. Really strong comparison there….. Quick question, should we only have books with sunshine and rainbows? Or should we teach our children about dealing with the negative things in the world and how to make it a better place. High school aged kids need to learn the pitfalls of things like this. Could it be in a different book? Maybe.

  • Don McNulty

    I didn’t see anything that led me to believe Mr. Baer had “poor behavior and attitude”. What I did see was someone who was very upset and who had his time limited by the pre-established restrictive rules of the liberal Gilford school board. Just as any policeman seems to believe that questioning anything is belligerence, this school board believes any conservative viewpoint is unlawful dissent. Our youngest daughter is extremely glad we home-schooled her until high school, so she knew that teachers and administrators don’t know it all. Our older children survived Gilford schools with a healthy dose of skepticism at home toward what passes for modern education.

    I agree with Darlinda Hamill: this kind of vile filth is not appropriate for our children. Period.

  • Anonymous

    Do you even understand that person is arrested while thousands of pedophiles, criminals, thieves are free roaming? You cannot arrest someone who speaks more then 2 minutes even if you don’t like what he says. In all school meetings there are always a few who talk in any case. I bet you are or know someone in that video that behaved like a sheep so now you try to find an excuse for your sheepish behavior.

  • Anonymous

    It is not about books. Decent citizen is arrested and possibly can have a record only because he spoke something. Even if he was wrong about the book, you cannot do this to a person. What did they accomplish? Make others scared? Yes, they did.

  • Deckard426

    After being arrested, Mr. Baer was taken to the Ministry of Love to be questioned, where he remains.

  • E Van

    But not the kind of education my family is interested in, child or adult.

  • Billy McLane

    Everyone needs to calm down. Bring up pedophiles? Really? Yes cause they shouldn’t get in trouble. By reading one comment I wrote you think you knew me? From hearing from someone there he was being belligerent and that’s what the police was there for. And no, I don’t know anyone in that video. And my sheepish behavior? What are you talking about?

  • Billy McLane

    My sheepish behavior? Explain. And no, I don’t know anyone in that video.

  • Crassus

    “First God created idiots. Then he created school boards.”

    —–Mark Twain

  • jmaster67

    You did defend the book in the last line of your post. I guess you didn’t read your post.

  • Anonymous

    You consider this book educational. Now all of us here are laughing out loud. Where is your mind following up on the specific paragraphs images.
    To remind you of another recent quote: “…Getting a thrill down your leg..”

  • Steven David Cessna

    Free speech this cop was totally out of line an Oduma puppet.

  • Anonymous

    Your back-peddleing. Perhaps you just re-read your own post.

  • Anonymous

    Wow. What’s next…a SWAT raid if your kid is 2 min late for school?

  • Anonymous

    At the most, he should’ve been escorted outside, but NOT arrested.

  • Jon Galt

    So if you object to the school FORCING your kid to read sexually explicit material, you are now a ‘censor’ and ‘book burner…’ and you get ARRESTED.

    FUNDAMENTAL TRANSFORMATION.

  • Thomas L. Stafford

    What are you talking about? There is no comment about pedophiles, I did not see a comment about your sheepish behavior, and yes he was obviously upset. I would be too I my concerns were dismissed. The speaker before was obviously reading from a prepared text. Yes, the whole room should have been up in arms about someone being arrested for speaking his mind at a public meeting. What else was so important that they could not have heard him out?

  • http://www.absoluteintensity.com dennis reilly

    the cop is a punk for arresting him and not turning around and doing the right thing by arresting the school board

  • shashiznick

    you are a putrid phock. I for one am tired of this bullsh!$ from these lib assh@#4. It’s stalinism. They better not chaarge that man with anything.

  • shashiznick

    How about this you moron. I’ll decide what my kid reads. You go ahead and poison your child’s mind. Keep your damn filth away from my family.

  • shashiznick

    Here. Here.

  • shashiznick

    I concur.

  • stephen michael

    That is just unbelievable that someone trying to speak his mind against the leftist board

  • Robert Bolam

    It is disturbing that there are armed police at a school board meeting between parents and educators. And yes, everyone else sits like sheep in the flock. Their too afraid of what will be thought of them in public. The school board is going to do their thing and the man with the gun will keep all you subjects in line!

  • Anonymous

    It is ludicrous that parents attending a school board meeting are limited to speaking two minutes, and that the policy is board members will not answer questions. As with all other elected officials, they seem to forget “they work for us.” (hat tip to C. Eastwood)

  • Anonymous

    You claim your cousin is in the class? You don’t sound like a kid. In fact, you sound more like a teacher.

  • http://suzeraining.wordpress.com/ suz

    however funny pat is reading this…and he’s funny, this is not school material — it’s a romance novel.

  • Anonymous

    I would imagine that, due to the increasing use of these parent hostile “forums,” this practice will end up being challenged in courts until it becomes enough of an issue that some standards more compliant with existing state definitions of “meaningful public input” is forced upon them. Until then, the best thing these parents can do is remove the school boards. It is the quickest means of achieving change in schools.

  • Darlinda Hamill

    I read it. You said the book is educational if you teach it the right way. Maybe if you tear out some of the pages. But that’s not what they did. There are many horrible thing gs in this world, that are also educational, but which I would not expose my child. The study of any subject must weigh the cost vs benefit. If the cost is a child’s innocence it is not worth whatever benefit. Find a different book.

  • Anonymous

    “When taught properly this book is very educational.”

    You’re a sick individual. Seek help immediately at your nearest Psychiatric hospital.

  • Anonymous

    I have read some of Jodi Picoult’s books (borrowed from a teenage relative, to see what young people are reading), and I have to agree with you. I don’t see the value of her novels in a school curriculum.

  • Anonymous
  • Anonymous
  • Anonymous

    Whether or not society deems him to be decent or not is irrelevant. In the Republic of the United States of America each individual is supposed to have equal protection under the law. From a man commonly thought of as a pig to the President. Equal protection. Equal rights. I find it highly disturbing to be reading more and more posts where the commentator insinuates that only well liked people have protected rights. A man can be acerbic and obnoxious and still have all the freedoms of the most beloved. People really need to grow up and get some perspective. I don’t care what he said, he shouldn’t have been arrested.

  • Anonymous

    Well stated.

  • Betty Roberts

    Classics such as To Kill A Mockingbird, The Ugly Duckling and Lord of the Flies address bullying. It would be interesting to have students compare/contrast The Kite Runner and Nineteen Minutes.