A reading assignment has some parents in New Hampshire confused and upset.
The controversial book “Nineteen Minutes” by Jodi Picoult is required reading for some 9th grade students at Gilford High School. The book is a fictional story about a school shooting and has been part of the curriculum since 2007.
School officials say that the book contains important themes, but parents say that message is overshadowed by what some call pornographic content on one page.
The book was assigned to students last Monday, but the school failed to give parents of freshmen students notice of the sexually explicit content in the novel. One page of the book contains a graphic description of rough sex between two teenagers.
Some parents are outraged, and attended a school board meeting to make their feelings known.
William Baer, whose 14-year old daughter is a student at the school, was one of the parents who spoke out at the meeting. He was promptly arrested for doing so:
EAGnews spoke with Baer about the incident, and he explained what made him so upset:
Baer tells EAGnews he became aware of the book’s objectionable material purely by chance. A family friend was visiting last Wednesday and talking to Baer’s 14-year-old daughter about how things were going in school. When she mentioned that she’d just been assigned the novel, the friend picked up the book and casually opened it to page 313 which contains a very graphic description of a sexual encounter between two adolescents. The friend was aghast as he read the passage, and asked Baer if he was aware of the book’s content.
“I was shocked when I read the passage, and not much shocks me anymore,” Baer says. “My wife was stunned by the increasingly graphic nature of the sexual content of the scene and the imagery it evoked.”
Here is an excerpt from the book. We considered omitting it from this article, but, if it is okay for 14 year olds to read…
Warning: Explicit content:
“‘Relax,’ Matt murmured, and then he sank his teeth into her shoulder. He pinned her hands over her head and ground his hips against hers. She could feel his erection, hot against her stomach.
” … She couldn’t remember ever feeling so heavy, as if her heart were beating between her legs. She clawed at Matt’s back to bring him closer.
“‘Yeah,’ he groaned, and her pushed her thighs apart. And then suddenly Matt was inside her, pumping so hard that she scooted backward on the carpet, burning the backs of her legs. … (H)e clamped his hand over her mouth and drove harder and harder until Josie felt him come.
“Semen, sticky and hot, pooled on the carpet beneath her.”
During an interview with another news outlet, Baer asked them to print that passage:
Baer asked that The Daily Sun print the passage. Otherwise, he expected readers would dismiss his response as that of “an uptight, over-protective, over-reacting parent.”
Editor Ed Engler declined, saying he thought some of the description rendered were not suitable for publication in 99 percent of daily newspapers in America, “Maybe 100 percent”.
Baer noted that the (Manchester) Union-Leader, too, flatly refused to print it, asking “it’s not fit to print, but it’s okay for my daughter to read it and discuss it? My goal is to have everyone in the United States read what’s on page 313 of that book,” he declared, “except my daughter.” (source)
Baer, who is an attorney, told EAGnews that the school “has no business introducing such themes” to students, and questioned why it is acceptable for “the state, through its schools and agents,” to mandate reading and discussing this kind of material.
In a written response to EAGnews, Gilford school leaders admitted they didn’t warn parents of the book’s controversial nature like they have in previous years, and promised to send a letter to the home “of all students who are currently assigned the book.”
It’s a little late now, isn’t it?
Baer suggested that the notice include the passage on page 313:
“If the text were not included, do you know any parent ,or student, for that matter, who could reasonably expect such content to be in a 9th grade assigned book? I think if they put that text in the notice, the vast majority of parents and possibly students would opt out.”
Baer told EAGnews that this is just more evidence that public schools are indoctrinating our children:
Baer believes the politicians and educators running the public school system want to dismantle the family unit, and undermine traditional morality, “though they’re never going to admit this.”
“Many people in education and government truly believe our children are theirs. That parents are only the custodians who feed them and put a roof over their head. These school incidents are a byproduct of this ‘we know best’ philosophy. They believe they have the authority to do this. If people were more complacent, which is hard to imagine, it’d be even worse.”
He’s right. Earlier this year, Paul Reville, the former secretary of education for Massachusetts and a Common Core supporter, spoke at a panel in support of the curriculum:
He shared his thoughts on opponents of the curriculum, stating that critics were a “tiny minority” who opposed standards altogether, which was unfair because “the children belong to all of us.”
The incident at Gilford isn’t unique: reading assignments that contain pornographic material seem to be more and more of a “normal” occurrence, especially since the introduction of Common Core curriculum in schools.
In his article Sex and the Public Schools, Michael Snyder discusses ways schools are sexualizing our children at younger and younger ages. Some public schools are mandating sex education for kindergarteners. Earlier this year, a middle school in Kansas decided that adding anal sex, oral sex, and touching were appropriate topics to add to their health class curriculum.
If your child must attend public school, you may want to pay close attention to the assignments they being given.
Here's the full video: