Candidates for Redmond School Board positions came together for a virtual forum Thursday night.
Of the questions that were asked, one focused on the role of the school board in banning books. The moderator noted that the Redmond School Board didn’t accept a donation of culturally diverse books in June 2022.
Here are portions of the candidates’ answers:
“I definitely do not support banning books,” said Brad Porterfield, a candidate for Position 4. “Freedom of Speech. That’s our Constitution, right?”
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“Books are windows and mirrors for people to understand lived experiences that are not their own,” said Liz Goodrich, who is seeking a second term on Position 5.
“But I also support a parent’s right to have input into what their child looks at and partakes from our library. But one parent’s rights should never impinge on another parent’s rights, she continued.
“In regards to books at the elementary level, yes books are a window and a mirror into people,” said Position 5 candidate John Campbell. “And there’s, frankly, some people I don’t think students should be seeing through a window or mirror. I think that’s completely inappropriate, some people who write books. Now, should those books be banned? Absolutely not. No. But should they be in front of a six-year-old? Five-year-old? Seven-year-old? Probably not the best place for those books to be.”
“The more you know about the world, the broader your perspective and the more easily you’re able to think critically about the world you exist in. So, I believe books from a wide breadth of topics, genre, characters are imperative to kids’ academic experience. And in addition to that, we also need to make sure these books are age appropriate,” said Position 3 candidate Amanda Page. “Should parents have an opportunity to opt out for their own kids? Absolutely.”
You can watch the full forum in the YouTube player below. Election day is May 16.