I am so thankful for cameras, that capture the truth of a calm parent who simply spoke up out of turn at a school board meeting and was hauled out by a police officer who later put the dad in handcuffs for the world to see. His crime was not disorderly conduct but violating the meeting’s two-minute talking rule.
How did this start? Some New Hampshire teachers and school board members thought it was a good idea to have their 14-year old students read a best-selling Jodi Picoult novel titled, “Nineteen Minutes,” which contains a school shooting, bullying and a graphic description of rough sex between two teenagers. What could possibly go wrong?
Naturally, parents had no idea their kids would be reading this until it came home in backpacks.
When William Baer spoke up about the content that was assigned to his daughter, and the fact that parents never got a note from the school, a school board member accused him of being disrespectful to the teachers. “Like you’re respectful to my daughter, and my children,” he retorts. Thankfully, someone had a camera rolling.
“It reads like a transcript for a triple-X porno movie,” he told CBS New York. “We had no notice of it whatsoever, no written notice, no verbal, nothing.”
The school board apologized in a statement, noting that officials had forgotten to send out notifications because the book has been on the curriculum since 2007.
“The board apologizes for the discomfort of those impacted and for the failure of the School District to send home prior notice of assignment of the novel,” said Chairman Sue Allen. “The district will take immediate action to revise these policies to include notification that requires parents to accept controversial material rather than opt out. Furthermore, the notification will detail more specifically the controversial material.”
Lots of folks tweeted their support to the book’s author, including the Gilford Public Library! They tweeted that all copies of 19 Minutes had been checked out.