Opinion

What happens when Dad protests sexual smut assigned to his 9th grader will floor you

The “live free or die state” should find a new motto.

A man who attended a school board meeting in Gilford, N.H., Monday night to complain about the sexually charged content of a book his ninth-grade daughter was assigned to read for school found himself escorted from the room and placed in handcuffs.

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Book cover: The Blaze

According to the Union Leader, attorney William Baer was charged with disorderly conduct for the incident, which stemmed from his discovery last week that his daughter had been assigned to read a book called “19 Minutes,” which turns on a school shooting and its effects on a small town.

It also includes graphic descriptions of sex between adolescents.

When Baer attended the meeting to complain, he spoke longer than his allotted two minutes, then got into an argument with another parent. That’s when things got ugly.

In an interview before the meeting with EAG News, a non-profit group that focuses on education issues, Baer said he learned about the sex in the book when a friend happened to point it out by chance during a visit to his home last week.

“I was shocked when I read the passage, and not much shocks me anymore,” Baer told EAG News. “My wife was stunned by the increasingly graphic nature of the sexual content of the scene and the imagery it evoked.”

Lest anyone think Baer might just be a prude, this isn’t the “F” word showing up in “Catcher in the Rye” and scandalizing 1950s high schools. Here’s an excerpt, as presented by EAG News.

“‘Relax,” Matt murmured, and then he sank his teeth into her shoulder. He pinned her hands over her head and ground his hips against hers. She could feel his erection, hot against her stomach

“…  She couldn’t remember ever feeling so heavy, as if her heart were beating between her legs. She clawed at Matt’s back to bring him closer.

“‘Yeah,’ he groaned, and her pushed her thighs apart. And then suddenly Matt was inside her, pumping so hard that she scooted backward on the carpet, burning the backs of her legs. … (H)e clamped his hand over her mouth and drove harder and harder until Josie felt him come.

“Semen, sticky and hot, pooled on the carpet beneath her.”

For ninth-graders.

In the EAG News interview, Baer said the role of government in children’s education has spun out of control.

“Many people in education and government truly believe our children are theirs,” he said. “That parents are only the custodians who feed them and put a roof over their head. These school incidents are a byproduct of this ‘we know best’ philosophy. They believe they have the authority to do this. If people were more complacent, which is hard to imagine, it’d be even worse.”

It’s tough to imagine how much worse it can get, when an apparently civil citizen can be escorted from a public meeting at the behest of a school official, then handcuffed on a “disorderly conduct” charge when the only disorder apparent comes from an arbitrary time element imposed by a school board chairman.

Anyone who’s spent time in the newspaper business has seen public meetings where speakers go over their allotted time, where individuals disagree in the audience and voices get raised on any issue from a road widening project to new school construction.

But an actual arrest for speaking out in public is something Americans have frowned on since the Founders established freedom of speech in the very First Amendment of the Bill of Rights.

A gavel is one thing. A police officer with handcuffs and a gun is another thing entirely.

H/T: The Blaze

Joe Saunders

Joe Saunders, a 25-year newspaper veteran, is a staff writer and editor for BizPac Review who lives in Tallahassee and covers capital and Florida politics. Email Joe at [email protected].

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