Children's Book Creates Controversy in Colchester

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A children’s book is creating controversy in Colchester and it centers on a book about the drag queen RuPaul.

Right now, the book is up at the desk at the library so people can still see it for themselves. And according to online records, you can also find it at many libraries in the state.

Some parents in town are defending it while others are raising concerns.

“You want your kids around a community that is accepting of everybody,” said Jessica Clements, of Colchester.

Parents learned about a controversy involving the book called “Who is RuPaul?” at the Cragin Memorial Library in Colchester.

“The book in question is about a gay, Black man who has done a lot to bring awareness to gay culture and normalize it,” said Jesse Berman, of Colchester.

We’re told the book is part of a series really popular with 4th, 5th and 6th graders and it had been featured as part of a Pride display.

“A parent approached me on Friday of last week about a book in the children’s section of our library that had some potentially sexually, suggestive imagery,” said Andreas Bisbikos, (R) Colchester First Selectman.

The First Selectman says he brought the issue to the library director on Monday.

“Initially he asked me to remove it and I did tell him we have this policy,” said Kate Byroade, Cragin Memorial Library director.

The library director says anyone can fill out a form raising concerns about material, which has never been done for the book.

She says it was a drawing forming the word ‘viva’ that the community member found offensive.

“People are concerned about things and I just hope there is a process and we respect everyone’s point of view and we have things in the library for everyone,” said Byroade.

On Facebook, the First Selectman wrote the book had been taken out of circulation and that he had called for an inventory of all of the children’s material.

Many commented that they felt the response was too heavy-handed.

“This has nothing to do with censorship or banning books. This is really asking the question are certain books in our library in the age-appropriate area for our children?” said Bisbikos.

The First Selectman says he’d like the review done by later this week.

He also says the parent who first brought forward the concern is expected to file an official complaint soon.

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