Gilford parent alleges conspiracy in arrest during school board meeting
William Baer, whose ninth-grade daughter last week was assigned the book for her honors English class, said he and his wife were appalled by the graphic detail in a passage describing a sexual act.
The school district has apologized for the error and sent a note to parents on Monday.
Lt. James Leach, who is the town’s acting police chief, arrested him on a charge of disorderly conduct.
Leach said there was no plan to have Baer arrested.
“It’s not at all unusual to have town or school officials ask to have us present if they think there is a potentially hot topic,” Leach said. “There was no conspiracy, Mr. Baer just got out of hand, and I had to arrest him.”
“The real story that should send a chill down everyone’s spine is that I could be arrested for just trying to get some answers about what they are teaching my daughter,” he said. “I’m not the problem here.”
Hemingway said Lt. Leach was not acting under any direction from school officials when he arrested Baer.
Because the district made an error in not reporting the book to parents before it was assigned, as it usually does, Hemingway said, Sawyer contacted parents of each child for their approval Monday and Tuesday.
The school district is working on ways to improve responsiveness to parents through a new policy that may be adopted for next year.
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