GILFORD, N.H. – The New Hampshire dad who was arrested at his district’s school board meeting on Monday night after protesting a pornographic reading assignment offered some new insights into the controversy during an appearance on Fox News.
William Baer told Fox News’ Megyn Kelly on Wednesday that Gilford School District officials admitted to him that they’ve never notified parents about the controversial nature of Jodi Picoult’s novel “Nineteen Minutes” before it was assigned to students in previous school years.
That revelation contradicts what Gilford school officials told the public when this controversy broke late last week.
In a May 2 “informational statement” sent to EAGnews, Superintendent Kent Hemingway, school board president Sue Allen and Gilford High School Principal Peter Sawyer wrote: “In past years, use of ‘Nineteen Minutes’ included notification sent home to parents for approval. That procedure was not followed this past Monday (when the book was assigned).”
But Baer – who is an attorney – said that when he asked to see a copy of those prior parental notices, he was told they didn’t exist.
“They admitted also that notice never went out – effective notice never went out – in the past, even though they said they’d turn over those documents,” Baer told Kelly. “When I asked them for those documents, they said, ’There are no documents,’ and they said, ‘Oops, we made another mistake and effective notice has not gone out in past years.’ So there are some problems here.”
It was not made clear what Baer meant by “effective notice.”
Baer added that he’s still facing a charge of disorderly conduct for his behavior at the meeting, and said he’s keeping his “options open.”