BREAKING NEWS re the case against Gilford parent, William Baer, sharing from the Honorable Jason Bedrick –>
Mazel tov to my brother, Jared Be, for winning an important First Amendment case in New Hampshire (State v. Baer) today. The court dismissed all the charges against his client, who had been arrested without warning for speaking out during a school board hearing. He was upset that his daughter’s school had assigned a book with sexually explicit content without first notifying the parents.
The judge wrote:
“The Court finds that this case is, notwithstanding the cynicism of the Defendant, an excellent ‘civics’ lesson, a perfect case for modeling free speech guarantees. The Court further finds that there is a paucity of facts from which a reasonable trier of fact could find the Defendant guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. The Court does agree with the Defendant’s argument that, often in an official meeting or at the Court, for that matter, individuals, from time to time, may be disruptive but that disruptiveness should not be cause for an arrest in the first instance. The sequence of the arrest actions cause pause by the Court as to the chilling, if not silencing of a citizen by the State, for actions which do not warrant a criminal arrest nor conviction. […]
The Court finds the Defendant’s actions to be impolite but not criminal. The Court further finds that if the level of offensiveness of the Defendant’s actions were to sustain any one of these criminal allegations, the State would be authorized to limit a citizen’s free speech exercise such that it would be purely discretionary.”
School Choice for NH’s previous articles on this case can be found here, here, and here.
Update: Local and national press have picked up the story. There are articles in the Union Leader, WMUR, and Ben Swann.