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‘Hateful’ campaign fliers advocate for less focus on Black Lives Matter in school

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    NORTH READING, Massachusetts (WBZ) — Voters in North Reading are upset someone is circulating anonymous campaign fliers targeting the town’s select board and school committee elections next week.

One of the fliers challenges what is being taught in the town’s classrooms and it advocates to vote for write-in candidates who will focus less on Black Lives Matter.

“I think it’s really hateful,” said North Reading resident Frederick James Looper. “They’re trying to say that because of this poster, this Black Lives Matter poster, that kids aren’t learning real American history.”

Another flier highlights the phrase “fact-based critical thinking”. Right next to it says “not critical race theory.”

“It’s the fear-based messaging,” said Looper.

Select Board Member Steve O’Leary says the fliers are going to registered Republicans.

“Phone calls that I’ve been getting from people who have received the fliers, again who are the target people in the community, they’re offended first of all by the messaging that’s in it,” said O’Leary.

O’Leary and fellow Select Board member Kathryn Manupelli are running unopposed to keep their select board seats.

They acknowledge the legality of “write-in” campaigns, but would much rather discuss and debate the issues.

“We take a stand, we’re public about our opinions about things, we’re out there,” said Manupelli.

“I actually enjoy the dialogue between candidates, and they’re actually denying the public the opportunity to see what their views are and express them publicly,” said O’Leary.

The candidates think the fliers will ultimately encourage more people to get out and cast their ballots in what was expected to be a low turnout election.

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