Though candidates for four-year terms on the New Canaan Board of Education agree that reading materials in school should be age-appropriate—and that no single group of parents should override the decisions of the district’s professionals—they have different ideas on the degree to which such decisions should be overseen by the elected body. Republican Matt Wexler during a debate (watch it here) held Monday night at Town Hall said that he opposes book banning and the filtering of any information “except when it comes to age appropriateness.”
“I think that anything that might be of question should be brought to the town, and we should have discussion on it,” Wexler told a standing-room-only crowd packed into the Town Hall Meeting Room for the candidates’ approximately 70-minute debate, hosted by the League of Women Voters of New Canaan.
“The parents should be allowed to weigh in, and we should hear all sides,” Wexler continued. “Because ultimately, we’re all parents, we all want what’s best for our children. There are some parents that may want certain exposure, some parents that may not. And ultimately we need to, one, provide the transparency for parents to make their own decision, but two, provide the option for parents to perhaps pull their kids out for that lesson.”
Responding to the same question from the League—regarding a single group of parents within a district prompting “book bans in libraries and classrooms” as per national headlines—Democratic candidate Lauren Connolly Nussbaum said that it’s not an issue in New Canaan because “our teachers and librarians are doing an exceptional job picking age-appropriate texts”
“In addition to that, they’re sharing their syllabi at the beginning of every year and I’m sure many of us in this room have inboxes full of emails from our teachers telling us what books our students will be reading in that semester or year,” Connolly Nussbaum continued.