To The Daily Sun,
After attending the most recent meeting of the Gilford School Board, I have three basic observations and a few other random thoughts.
1. What we have "hee..AH"..... is ah Failure ta, communicate!''
2. I would suggest that the School Board completely reject the book "Nineteen Minutes" from being included in any future curricula for any grade level in the Gilford public schools. Instead they should consider Mr Lambert's suggestion as to using subjects of valid English literature and substitute Keat's "Ode on Melancholy" and Coleridge's "Kubla Khan" into the curriculum in lieu of such distasteful to the community standards un-vetted, "contemporary" American/English literature. In addition the School Board might take note of Coleridge's "Epigram," and perhaps glean something from that.
3. I too, as Doug Lambert, have some favorite Bible passages. So the community, righteous in our indignation, might pause to read some of 1 Corinthians 7:7. The School Board members might want to contemplate Mr. Baer's situation in relation to 1 Timothy 5:8. We do wish, as did St, Paul, that the community have some patience and grant a bit of forbearance to those who are not fully committed to common decency, and may be less strong in the faith than ourselves, but that not withstanding. are well meaning.
Certainly the School Board must have been well meaning when fully apprised that they had a budding "soap opera" on their hands, they sought to handle such by suppressing the inevitable displays of indignation and outrage. Reactions by the School Board in admitting to some oversights certainly support the sense of outrage that some parents displayed at the meeting. School Board Chair Sue Allen is recently quoted as having used the term "ridiculous" to describe this statewide airing of a public "soap opera" turned into a public political scandal.
I have attended several Gilford School Board meetings over the years. I can remember one where the discussion of a Belmont football merger went on so long I deemed it not an appropriate time for the sake of not further lengthening the meeting to speak at that meeting to a different agenda item. So it was ridiculous to attempt to stifle and suppress the public comment at this meeting for the sole purpose of not wanting to take the full heat of the outraged on this curriculum issue.
While I'm widely regarded as a RINO and would have seen this text as possibly appropriate for juniors after the Christmas break or seniors in their last high school year, I agree it was wrong to make it part of the curriculum for high school freshmen. I agree with those who believe this book could be properly made available in the high school library and our public library.
I thank Mr. Wernig for his politically motivated remarks in support of his political allies of the government education industry and their empathizers. If not for his remarks suggesting book banning outside of the public school curriculum was at issue, which clearly rubbed salt into the wounds of Mr. Baer, Mr. Baer may not have gotten himself so further incensed and then arrested in front of the TV cameras of WMUR. Often times it is more valid to: "Give every man thine ear, but few thy voice."
In their attempt to save themselves some embarrassment, to limit the amount of proper rebuke they were due, and to limit the timeframe of the meeting for their own convenience, the Gilford School Board helped create and escalate this "ridiculous" situation to an airing of our dirty laundry "soap opera" across the entire state. There actually was film at 11 and on the television news again the next day. Many of us hope these "ridiculous" charges are dropped against Mr. Baer. Prosecuting him will just be more of the same in escalating the sense of outrage so many of the voters of Gilford are feeling on these issues.