Todd Starnes

Superintendent Kent Hemingway told me in a telephone interview that the district had been using the novel since 2007 – and to his knowledge – there have not been any complaints.

He also said the principal contacted every family in the affected classes and polled them on whether or not they supported the racy novel.

“More than 80 percent consented with their students continuing with the book,” he said. “Ten percent said no.”

He said 10 percent were still undecided on whether or not they wanted their youngsters to read about lovers grinding their loins.

I asked the superintendent if he would agree that the novel was a bit smutty. He declined to comment.

“I’m not going to make a decision on pornographic material,” he said.

Heaven forbid the superintendent of schools be the arbiter of decency. So who, pray tell, is responsible for deciding whether children are exposed to pornographic literature?

“It’s a decision of the local community,” he told me.

I was especially intrigued by the school board’s official statement. Read carefully:

“The School District policies IGE, IJ, IJA, KEC (available on the school district website) refer to the procedures for the use of novels containing controversial material. The district will take immediate action to revise these policies to include notification that requires parents to accept controversial materials rather than to opt out. Furthermore, the notification will detail more specifically the controversial material.”

Did you catch the part about forcing parents to accept racy, bawdy novels rather than opt out?

This school district may very well be the poster child for why you should home school your children.

Author Jodi Picoult told the Union-Leader that she was aware of the controversy in Gilford. Her solution was to make the novel a family affair.

“Read the book with your kids, by all means use it as a springboard for discussion with your kids,” she told the newspaper.

And afterwards, why not take the whole family down to the local strip club for dinner and a show?

Baer told EAGNews.org that he believes the incident is proof that public schools are trying to indoctrinate children with moral relativism.

“Many people in education and government truly believe our children are theirs,” he told the group. “These school incidents are a byproduct of this ‘we know best’ philosophy.”

So let’s review. An English teacher provided a sexually graphic novel to 14-year-old children. A parent complained. And when he complained too much, he was tossed in jail.

Sounds to me like the wrong person got arrested.


Todd Starnes

Todd Starnes is the host of Fox News & Commentary – heard daily on 250+ radio stations. He’s also the author of “Dispatches From Bitter America.” To check out all of his work you can visit his website or follow him on Twitter @toddstarnes. In his spare time, Todd is active in his church, plays golf, follows SEC football, and eats barbecue. He lives in New York City.