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Superintendents and boards of education decry threats and violence at school board meetings

Associations representing Connecticut school boards and superintendents today issued a statement expressing concern about the volatile environment at board of education meetings.

A Glastonbury school board member who had voted to retire a Native American-related mascot was recently punched by a member of the public during a meeting.

The Connecticut Association of Boards of Education and the Connecticut Association of Public School Superintendents say emotionally-charged meetings focusing on mask requirements, vaccination, curriculum, and mascots are impeding the opportunity for meaningful dialogue.

"Threats and acts of violence toward public officials are simply unacceptable no matter which side of an issue a board member or superintendent is on," the groups write in a joint statement. "Fact based and respectful discussions that permit all perspectives to be considered are critical in addressing controversial issues and enabling the democratic processes to take place."

The associations emphasize that board members are volunteers.

Matt Dwyer is a producer for Where We Live and a reporter and midday host for Connecticut Public's news department.

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