By Douglas J. Hagmann

“I was arrested.”

It took a minute for me to wrap my mind around those words, uttered by a one of the most decent men I know. He is an attorney by profession, having worked in the prosecutor’s office within the Five Boroughs of New York City.

He’s dealt with some of the most unsavory people and unspeakable crimes of our nation in that capacity. More importantly, however, he is a proud and protective family man. He’s a loving husband and a proud father of two children, including Marina Baer, a ninth grader in the Gilford, New Hampshire School District.

My mind raced as I fired questions at him with mind-numbing rapidity. “Where, What for? What happened?” I prodded. He answered each question calmly and methodically, combining his replies with an extremely important “back story” that will probably not be reported anywhere by the mainstream media.

Mr. Baer explained that he was arrested at a meeting of the Gilford School Board meeting on Monday, 5, 2014, and charged with a misdemeanor charge of disorderly conduct. As audio and video evidence of the events clearly illustrates, however, there was nothing remotely disorderly about Mr. Baer’s conduct at the meeting. It was the first time he was arrested in his life.

No, there was something far deeper at work here, something that you will not see, hear or read about in the “drive-by” reports done by the mainstream media. It is this lead-up to the school board meeting that puts the events of May 5th in a much clearer, and much more unsettling perspective. It should serve as a warning to all parents that there is an agenda much greater than what we are seeing. In the words of Mr. Baer, “something is very wrong.” Indeed it is, and the report that follows should send a chill down the spine of every parent, of every American, for this is coming to your city, town, or municipality if it does not already exist.

The critical back-story

Last Thursday, Mr. Baer sent me an e-mail about a book his daughter was assigned to read by her teacher with the full and complete approval of the Gilford School Board. He wrote that he was stunned, despite his experience working in one of the toughest cities in the country, by what was assigned to his 14-year-old daughter for her ninth grade Honor’s English class, and attached a scanned copy of one page from the book for my perusal. Having over a quarter century of investigative experience myself, I’m no prude in reading graphic text. Regardless, I would never have knowingly permitted my child to read what he sent, even if it was part of a school assignment sanctioned by the school board.

Upon closer scrutiny of the book, Nineteen Minutes by author Jodi Picoult, Mr. Baer saw that it was a fictional account of a school shooting in New Hampshire that lasted for 19 minutes (hence the title) that contains explicit and graphic sexual material, (See Below) along with arguably controversial messages about homicide and yes, gun violence. Despite its inclusion on the New York Times best seller list, any ordinary parent of reasonable sensibilities would certainly question why such a book was selected as required reading for a ninth-grade Honor’s English class.

After doing his own homework, Mr. Baer followed a logical approach to learn why the book was assigned without his consent, and to be proactive, for he was not about to allow his daughter to be subjected to this subject matter, at least not in this fashion. He first contacted the high school principal, who declined to formally meet with him in order to find a suitable remedy to this issue. After being effectively deferred and deflected at every turn, Mr. Baer was left with attempting to remedy the situation by attending the school board meeting to publicly address this issue.

It was as if it was made impossible for Mr. Baer to be given any remedy to clear this matter up, except by attending the school board meeting that would convene the following Monday. It is here—at this exact point— that people must pay attention to how events were being managed behind the scenes.

According to information obtained by this author, the Gilford, New Hampshire school board was alerted in advance to Mr. Baer’s intention to raise this issue at their normal Monday meeting. In anticipation of Mr. Baer’s attendance, they did a number of things they have not done in the past.

First, they stationed a Gilford Municipal police officer inside the meeting venue “to keep order.” Then, they limited all public comments to two minutes only, and refused to answer any questions of the attendees. Ostensibly, this was done because of the multitudes of those present to speak out against the book, yet not more than a few dozen people were actually present. Also, the number who actually wished to speak remained in the single digits, including Mr. Baer. Accordingly, any sensible person would question the rationale behind such an arbitrary policy instituted for this particular meeting.

No dissent permitted

The critical back-story, then, indicates that the school board did not just anticipate Mr. Baer’s attendance, but took very precise steps to make certain that his objections would be muted and otherwise dealt with in a manner that has been inconsistent with previous public meetings. It would appear that dissent about the book as an assignment in a ninth-grade honors class was not merely expected, but the response to such dissent was decided in advance.

The meeting

When attendees were called to speak, Sue Allen, the board chairwoman, could be heard asking at least twice if anyone cared to speak before Mr. Baer was recognized. When he was permitted (or confined) to his two minutes, he first noted that there was an unusual “default setting” to the parental authorization that would permit the children to be exposed to this material. Normally, a parent must “opt-in” to allow the book to be read by their child, much like parental authorization is given for a field trip. In this case, however, it was only if the parent had an objection to the book that they would need to “opt-out.”

Secondly, Mr. Baer asked the principal present to read page 313 of the book to give those in attendance the reasons for which he was voicing his objections. After all, not everyone there was aware of the contents of the book. The principal refused as did every other board member, calling it “inappropriate.” Mr. Baer attempted to compel the board members to answer legitimate questions about the class assignment and methods, but they refused, asserting they would only allow the attendees two minutes worth of comments to be put on record. As the video shows, it was an exasperating exercise in futility for Mr. Baer to seek redress in this venue to which he was directed.

Mr. Baer ultimately exceeded his two minutes by 18 seconds, an obviously egregious offense to the royalty of the Gilford School District. After sternly warning Mr. Baer that his time was up and they would have no part in addressing his concerns, he dutifully sat down.

At this point, a man positioned behind Mr. Baer spoke up and glowingly described how the book actually prompted a frank family discussion about the subject matter of the book, taking a tone that seemed to paint Mr. Baer as an advocate of censorship and book banning, which is far from the truth or Mr. Baer’s intent. In response to this false accusation and mischaracterization, Mr. Baer verbally dissented. He calmly defended himself against these public accusations, attempting to set the public record straight.

It was as a result of this egregious offense, one that caused Mr. Baer to add another 30 seconds or so onto his unauthorized 18 seconds beyond the allotted 2 minutes that caused the school board to react – and react with prejudice.

The arrest

Remember that out-of-place municipal police officer standing guard for the first time in recent memory at the Gilford School Board meeting? Based on what appeared to be the hand signal of a member of the school board, the officer responded by walking to a stunned Mr. Baer, who was now seated, reaching to escort him from the meeting. Mr. Baer asked if he was being asked to leave, if he was being arrested, and was further stunned by the rapidity of the response for such a minor infraction of exceeding his allotted time by less than a minute in total, including his unscheduled verbal defense against his character.

According to Mr. Baer and as seen in the video, the arresting officer appeared a bit nervous while escorting this dissenting parent from the room and placing him in handcuffs behind his back. Mr. Baer has a bad neck injury, which he made known to the officer, that restricted the movement of his left arm. This, as is seen, was apparently construed as resisting arrest by the otherwise docile Mr. Baer.

Apparently the officer had his orders, for it is here that the officer could have used his discretion and let Mr. Baer go, as long as he did not re-enter the meeting or otherwise cause problems for the school board.

Unless or until enough Americans rise up to the tyrannical methods used to quell dissent against child abuse at the hands of school authorities, Mr. Baer will be arraigned on June 17th, 2014, for charges of disorderly conduct. I spoke with Mr. Baer, who stated that he feels strongly about not just the book, but how he stood up to the school board to protect his daughter.

As an investigative journalist who thoroughly researched this set-up and a friend of Mr. Baer, I urge everyone to see through the fog of disinformation and to make your own voices of dissent heard on his behalf by demanding that the charges against him be dropped without prejudice.

I am absolutely certain that Billy Baer, attorney, father and American patriot, would do the same for all of us.

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