Staples Book Challenge Withdrawn

The battle over 3 books in the Staples High School library is over.

After Westport resident Tara McLaughlin complained about the LGBTQ-themed works — “Flamer,” “Gender Queer” and “This Book is Gay” — a special committee held public hearings.

The committee voted on each book separately. Each vote was 10-0 in favor of retention.

Superintendent of Schools Thomas Scarice upheld the committee’s recommendations.

His decision was appealed.

This afternoon, Scarice told “06880” that the appeal has been withdrawn.

Each committee member read the 3 books challenged by Tara McLaughlin.

21 responses to “Staples Book Challenge Withdrawn

  1. Tom Prince

    What an enormously cruel and self-centered waste of everyone’s time. I encourage the Board of Education to examine the policy that lets Moms for Liberty fans yammer on and on, in their pathetic attempt to bring hillbilly hatred to Connecticut.

    • Russell Gontar

      Thank you. The BOE should not be held captive by a poorly thought out policy that allows a single individual’s opinion to set into motion a series committees, meetings and additional reviews for library books that have already been vetted. Don’t kid yourself, the real intent is to cast upon the community a disinclination to consider any materials that might be thought of as controversial given the avalanche of nonsense that is waiting at a moments notice.

    • Thanks, Tom, for this post. I would add, only, that McLaughlin should move from our town to one that can better absorb her ignorance, bigotry and hatred.

      • George Eagan

        The only hatred is coming from you. You’re the insane lib casting her as a bigot. If anyone opposes your liberal stances they’re immediately casted as a bigot and should leave. Hate indeed has a home here – it’s you and your liberal cronies.

        • Hmmmm; I don’t think I hate McLaughlin, George. I do think I hate censorship in most any form and I sure do hate the idea that one person can demand so much time and energy be spent struggling with her attempt to stifle the dissemination of information.

  2. Eric William Buchroeder SHS ‘70

    Can I borrow them when they’re done? My Staples library card’s expired.

  3. John Perkins

    As said above, one person gets to challenge books and the rest of us have to endure that? Don’t want your kids to read them? Tell them not to and let them grow up in their little restricted world that accepts nothing that might broaden their outlook.

  4. Lisa Becker

    This truly boggles my mind. In this day and age, where we should be kind, accepting, open to all human that reside in this world that a person could be threatened by a book(s). My educated guess is that this person who brought the call to ban these three books would cite something biblical to answer the why. The Gd I know loves everyone purely and without judgement, unlike others, which is anything other than Gd-like. Kudos to the Board who rationally made an incredible decision to keep the books on the library shelves of Staple High School!

    • Jo Ann Miller

      Hello, Lisa. People are afraid since Covid and other distracting political antics. Folks believe evil forces, dressed up as immigrants, are taking over this country. First, a Black man, then a woman to lead this country. Next will be gay books in the library.

  5. Tom Feeley

    This Book is Gay
    $59.95 hardcover $11.69 paperback

    • Eric William Buchroeder SHS ‘70

      Yep. Assuming she was a parent and/or taxpayer she had every right to do what she did and she was treated with the respect that any parent/taxpayer deserves.

  6. John D McCarthy

    Glad the appeal has been withdrawn and this matter behind us. But happy that the BOE went by the book and gave Tara McLaughlin the “due process” everyone should expect. Maybe next time, I will be the one with an unpopular opinion, and I want to ensure I get a fair hearing. That is how this is supposed to work. 🙂

    • Tom Prince

      Trumped-up crap like this does not deserve hundreds of man-hours and woman-hours from overworked educators and taxpayers who have better things to do than fight pleas for time travel back to the nineteenth century.

      • John D McCarthy

        I thought “everyone deserves due process” was a pretty non-controversial position.

        • Tom Prince

          Due process isn’t controversial. But it shouldn’t involve so many steps and so much polite indulgence.

          • Carl Addison Swanson, Wrecker, '66.

            This was not a crime or criminal procedure. As such, “due process” as we know it in the constitution is not applicable. The ordinance may allow a procedure. I agree with Tom, let the head librarian make the decision.

            • John McCarthy

              Nice hair splitting. But there is a written BOE process in place that they followed. Had they deviated from the process the town would be rightfully facing a lawsuit now. I’m glad this is now not in the courts.

  7. Matt Lustig

    How would those who want to ban books feel if books they prefer were banned? These books are not about hate, they are about live and acceptance.

  8. Trisha Jumper

    Thanks for the update. So glad that this woman wasn’t able to singlehandedly ban these books. It has been going on all over this country- one single complaint keeps books out of all students hands. So proud that Westport is smarter and better than to let it happen here!

  9. Alex Wennberg

    Those of you accusing this parent of hate and ignorance, and claiming your Gd is better than other Gds are hypocrites and guilty of the same hate and ignorance. Everyone’s opinions have value, even the ones you don’t like. You don’t run someone out of town for it.
    This undercurrent of hate against different viewpoints is far more dangerous than one woman’s efforts to do what she thinks is best for her kids. You should be ashamed of yourselves.

  10. Dermot Meuchner

    Whenever god is in the conversation it’s a lost cause. On both sides.