Why This Whole Incident in Gilford Has Been Unnecessarily Blown Up
May 7th, 2014
By Eli Solidum
By Eli Solidum
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I lived in Gilford, New Hampshire for about seven years. Nothing ever happens there. Literally, nothing.
So boy, am I surprised to suddenly see my old high school being plastered all over the news. Sadly, it is not in a very positive light. Almost every big news and media outlet has joined in on the fun of bashing Gilford High School for whatever information they can grab out of context. Here is the apparent process of said news outlets. First, they find something remotely juicy, then they make sure to place that blatantly out of context and make an interesting news story out of it. Interesting, yes. False, biased, and complete bullshit? Also yes.
Seriously.. Just look at the title of the original video. "Gilford parents upset over book."
That's it. Some parents were upset over a book that contained sexual content. Leave it to the media to turn "Gilford parents upset over book" to something like "BREAKING: INNOCENT MAN ARRESTED FOR PROTESTING STUDENTS READING A MANUSCRIPT WRITTEN BY SATAN HIMSELF. IS THIS THE WORK OF THE ILLUMINATI?"
Now I myself cannot say much about the situation since I haven’t been back in New Hampshire for about three years. However, having actually attended the high school and experienced the “terrible” school system that Gilford forced down my innocent little throat, I feel like that puts me in a much more sensible position to speak than say, everyone else who has put in their two-cents via “opinion article” (aka needless propaganda.)
Let’s get the details. All of the details, not just the ones that make this upstanding school district look terrible.
- The book in question was Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult, who actually spoke out on the controversy and suggested to make it the subject of family discussion. (Fox News of course likened her suggestion to “taking the whole family down to the strip club for dinner and a show.”)
- This book has been used by the school district since 2007 with no complaints.
- Only 10% of parents did not give consent to their children reading this book.
- There was a school board meeting discussing action, where a man was controversially arrested for disorderly conduct.
This was, in fact, a school board meeting, where hostility and aggression are less than welcome. There were children at that school board meeting. A parent angry over adult content being presented to their child proceeded to escalate the situation and was promptly arrested in order to prevent further escalation.
Now that officer (nearly anyone in the entire Gilford community can vouch for this) is one of the most reasonable and upstanding officers out there. He is under fire for doing his duty. The school district is under fire for a slip-up that resulted in some angry parents. This is national news? Yes, the book had sexually explicit content. One whole page of it. This hilarious Fox News article will gladly inform you that the book even went as far as saying the words “semen” and “erection.”
Without a doubt, The Gilford Steamer's headlines tomorrow will read along the lines of: Absolute chaos and debauchery in small town New Hampshire as we have one or two parents rioting over a book that acknowledges the existence of sexual intercourse!
During my stint at Gilford High School, I read The Scarlet Letter (“read”), Romeo & Juliet, Lord of the Flies, Macbeth, To Kill A Mockingbird, and a slew of other books I can’t remember. A lot of people die. There was inappropriate language. And considering that The Scarlet Letter is a book about freakin’ adultery and slut-shaming and sex, I’m surprised there weren’t pitchforks at the doors of Gilford High School every time students were forced to read that. And yes, I mean forced. No one ever voluntarily reads The Scarlet Letter. Yet people willingly read Nineteen Minutes all the time. It is a compelling story and much more relatable to high schoolers than The Scarlet Letter which takes place around 65 million years ago (I really hate The Scarlet Letter.)
Books about violence, war, sex, racial issues and many more important topics litter the curriculum of high schools across the country. But God forbid there is a page long sex scene that is bold enough to say the word “semen.” Hell, these guys are in high school now. Your innocent little angels have seen and heard far worse by now, even in their introductory health and sex ed. classes.
Like I said, I have not been in New Hampshire for three years now, but it doesn’t take much for me to scroll through my Facebook feed and find out my former classmates’ opinions on this. They are seemingly in unanimous support of the school district, and I've compiled several of their thoughts on the next page.