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Don’t Let Newtown Become ‘That Town’



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To the Editor:

Four members of the seven member BOE appear poised to vote (a.k.a. “ban”) two books from the NHS library on May 16. Additional books have already been challenged and are likely to meet the same fate.

These four BOE members will go against the unanimous recommendation of the Special Review Committee and the Superintendent; against the professional views of NHS English teachers, every district Library Media Specialist and hundreds of town residents who have spoken and written letters to them. This will also be in contrast with 19 peer high schools in our region who will continue to have the two books available to students in their libraries.

It will damage and terrify our youth to live in a town where book banning (a la Fahrenheit 451 — ironically a staple of high school literature) becomes a reality, silencing voices and targeting already marginalized communities.

If none of that worries you, then what about your property values? Are you ready to have them fall, along with the perceived quality of our schools, which will lose excellent teachers and staff? As top colleges become less drawn to our NHS graduates? Are we ready to become known regionally as “that town” — stigmatized as an intolerant and regressive town. Sound good?

And to think that one board member spoke at length at the May 2 BOE meeting and shared concerns about being labeled a “book banner” if they choose to permanently remove these books. So yes, Mr Ramsey, Ms Zukowski, Ms Kuzma, and Ms Larkin, you will indeed be Newtown’s infamous “book banners.”

Own it.

(The views expressed in this letter are my own.)

Sarah Beier


Comments are open. Be civil.
  1. carlak says:

    Could not agree more. This is beyond ridiculous.

    1. konradmiller says:

      Well said!

  2. tscinto says:

    I found it interesting that 3 of the board members wanted to vote that night, but when they got to the discussion part, they wouldn’t share their thoughts. If they have already made up their mind, they should want to join into the discussion. The other 4 members clearly have, and are, putting a lot of thought and research before they come to their final decision. Kudos to them. On another note, what will you do when they have to close some of the schools because enrollment is down. I know you feel you’re in the majority, but I assure you there are many parents who want these books removed.

  3. voter says:

    I will happily label this a “book ban” when proponents of the books line up and call these graphic novels “obscene literature”. I say tomato, you say tom-ah-to. The two groups plainly have different definitions of each concept, and what may cause “damage” and in some cases “terrify”. I’m very disappointed that people who claim to value tolerance and diversity can’t respect that other people in their community have a deep-seated sensitivity to minor children – all children, not just their own – being exposed to these (very) graphic novels. The BOE members are charged to represent the community that elected them. There is a very well written letter to the editor in this newspaper that explains the concept. I fully support the BOE members called out in this letter to both speak their conscience and vote in the representative manner they see fit. I agree – let’s own it! -Dylan Thomas, 15 Butterfield Road.

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