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A Gilford, NH father recently found out just how well the 1st amendment works these days in America after being arrested this past week for speaking out of turn at a school board meeting.
At issue is a book called “19 Minutes” by Jodi Picoult. The book has been a part of the Gilford High School curriculum since 2007. I have never read the book but it is supposed to contain a sexually explicit sex scene among other societal issues like a school shooting. Important themes for 14 year olds to read according to the school board . The father, William Baer disagrees and went to the school board meeting intending to voice his dissent for the book and wanting some kind of prior notification that his 14 years old daughter was going to be required to read the book. I agree with him and the school board since this incident has promised to provide such notification to parents regarding controversial topics. Why they never did this in the first place speaks to the kind of people that live in Gilford. Parents not too concerned about having their 14 year olds read sexually explicit material and a school board only too willing to keep pushing the envelop of good taste, and appropriateness.
The family was new to the school district and Baer was greatly disturbed by the book’s content as I believe most conservative people and those of religious persuasion would have been. During the meeting Baer took issue with another parent who seemed to think the book was fine and appropriate. Opinions and concerns at the meeting were restricted to two minutes only to allow for others to get a chance to speak Baer however refused to stop. He was so incensed that he continued to talk and when asked to stop he refused. Police responded and Baer was arrested after daring the police officer to arrest him over his protest.
I myself after reading a few articles concerning this story and something similar that happened to a Baltimore man regarding his protest of Common Core have also become incensed but not necessarily over his arrest although that is troubling too. You see I do believe in order especially when there is a lot to discuss and a lot of people wanting to get a chance to speak. I also believe that if a police officer tells you to do something that is in the interest of public safety or law than you had better listen and obey. To do so is to remain civilized. The trouble starts when law enforcement is used to “protect” people and institutions that by definition are not promoting freedom and democracy but instead repression and statist agendas.
In case you haven’t been paying attention we are in a cultural war presently in the USA and the conservatives are losing it. We have one side that thinks its appropriate for educators and government administrators to discuss sex and promote education of children at very young ages in topics of sexuality & homosexuality because after all they argue, they are going to do it anyway or be exposed to it sooner than later and need to know about it.
The other side believes it is the parents responsibility to teach their children about sexuality and impart upon them their values and morality. They reject the notion that the state’s job is to teach all children how to act and learn and what to learn and what not to learn.
Plain and simple teaching children about sex when they don’t have the emotional maturity to accept the responsibilities and unintended consequences that go along with having sex is a recipe for disaster. Do you know what they are teaching your kid at their school?
Mr Baer I believe had a right to voice his dissent and I think if he had others supporting him in the room should have been given time to speak his mind or if not then school administrators if they were smart should have offered to meet with him privately. The school board instead decided that Mr Baer was a threat to their authority and needed to be arrested and taken away because he violated the two minute speaking rule.
So a concerned father who had been temporarily silenced has now made national headlines despite his new legal trouble. All this because a school board thought they know what’s best for Mr Baer’s and other children in their charge. Perhaps more people like Mr Baer need to stand up to “authority” instead of quietly, sheepishly going along to get along. The price of remaining free is high and so far, not enough of us are willing to ever pay for it. The consequences of that inaction are all too readily seen.
The founding fathers in their wisdom in writing the Constitution allowed for federalism and the states to make their own laws and let the people decide if they were good ones or bad ones and if they did not like them they more or less voted with their feet and moved to a different state. This process is what our “leaders” in Washington are trying to prevent with the promotion of Common Core. By promoting federal government education standards no citizen of any state will ever be able to escape the filth and indoctrination promoted so ardently by the left in this country unless they can afford private school.
For now if I had a young family and was contemplating moving to Gilford’s school district I might just have to say No Way. But that is my choice.