A U.S. man was arrested after he protested against the school management that had assigned his daughter a book depicting an explicit sex scene.
William Baer was arrested during a board meeting at Gilford School on Monday, May 5. He apparently raised concerns after his teenage daughter was assigned Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult. The father's concerns led to arguments and he was arrested for violating a "two-minute talk" rule followed by the board. Mr Baer thought that it was inappropriate for his daughter to read the explicitly described scene where a couple of teenagers would get involved in a sexual encounter. The book is about a bullied teenager who eventually gets involved in a shooting rampage at school, according to CTV News.
Baer apparently asked the members of the school board if they would read out the sex scene in question. However, the board reportedly refused to read it out loud. A police officer approached the father as the discussion turned into a heated argument. Baer was eventually handcuffed by the officer. "You're going to arrest me? Because I violated the two minute rule?" Baer wondered as the officer took him into custody. Interestingly, the entire incident was captured on camera and the video was later uploaded to YouTube.
The school board, on the other hand, issued a statement on Monday itself as it apologised for not informing parents regarding the assigned book unlike previous occasions. School Board Chairperson Sue Allen said that the district would "take immediate action to revise these policies to include notification" that required parents "to accept controversial material rather than opt out." She said that the notification would detail more specifically with the controversial material.
Baer, who was arrested for disorderly conduct, has reportedly planned to "fight his arrest" as he believes that his "First Amendment rights were violated.