Gilford, NH– Marina Baer, the daughter of William Baer, confronted the Gilford school board after watching her father get arrested following a debate about mandated sexually explicit reading material assigned to Marina’s high honors English class.
In a video from Josh Youseff, Marina criticized the school board’s decision to use police force to stop her father from speaking. “This just shows that you resort to force at the first turn of conflict,” she told the board. She continued:
“I don’t trust you, I haven’t, and I honestly don’t feel safe around you people.”
William Baer was arrested for violating a 2-minute speaking limit decreed by the school board at Monday’s meeting. Baer had been unsettled by the realization that there had been no prior warning from the school about the content in the book, Jodi Picoult’s “Nineteen Minutes“, and that it was a required assignment. Baer’s frustration grew when school board refused to allow any discussion of the school’s failure to notify parents, and also refused to read the page aloud at the meeting.
While Baer clearly violated the 2-minute rule and interrupted another parent, attention has been drawn to the use of police force for violating a school rule, not a law. Baer is also calling attention to the way that the Gilford school board runs its meetings. Baer has repeatedly expressed his dismay that there is no forum for parents to discuss the school’s wrongdoing. “There was no interaction. We got two minutes to speak but couldn’t ask questions. There’s no accountability there,” he told the Laconia Daily Sun. “I think people should be shocked and outraged by the assault on free speech and knowing that you can be handcuffed and taken out of a public meeting like that.”
Baer appeared on Fox News to discuss the school board’s lack of accountability and his arrest. The school has claimed that this is the first year that a notice was not given to parents. Baer told Megyn Kelly that he requested documentation of previous notices given by the school. He said that the school assured him those notices would be handed over, but later informed him that “there are no documents”.