Dec. 3—State Sen. Heather Somers, R-Groton, and state Rep. Greg Howard, R-Stonington, will host a public forum for families via Zoom on Wednesday, Dec. 8, to discuss educational topics such as COVID-19 guidelines, curriculum issues and the importance of having civil discussion with school officials.
The forum "Concerning Civility & Communication, Education Curriculum, COVID Recovery & Accelerated Learning" will take place from 7 to 8:30 p.m. with a question-and-answer period to follow. It will include Stonington Superintendent of Schools Van Riley, Stonington Assistant Superintendent of Schools Mary Anne Butler, Griswold Superintendent Sean McKenna, Preston Superintendent Roy Seitsinger and Griswold Director of Teaching, Learning & Innovation Glenn LaBossiere.
Howard, who represents the 43rd District, said the forum is the outgrowth of a meeting he and Somers recently had with Riley and Butler, in which the two school officials mentioned the calls they were getting and comments people were making at school board meetings.
"So we said, 'we'll get questions from people, we'll answer them and be transparent with what's going on,'" he said, adding there is "a lot of COVID fatigue" and misinformation out there. In addition, he said people are blaming teachers, principals and school nurses for mandates and guidance coming from the state. He said those complaints would be better addressed to state officials.
"We are one community and we've got to discuss things civilly and work together," he said.