Stamford police investigate threats at library over Drag Storytime program
Stamford — City police are investigating threats made against staffers at Ferguson Library in the wake of the library's drag queen storytelling program earlier this month.
Alice Knapp, Ferguson Library's chief executive officer, said that on Sept. 10, the library hosted its Drag Storytime, a program where storytellers dressed in drag read tales designed to teach lessons on diversity, inclusion, tolerance, self-love and self-expression.
The event, which Knapp said is supposed to provide a message of inclusivity, acceptance and appreciation of others, inspired animosity in some, however.
Knapp said the library has been hosting similar events since 2015 — except during the pandemic — and each time the library receives complaints about the "inappropriate nature" of the program and calling it potential indoctrination. But this year, the complaints moved into threatening territory, Knapp said.
"We started to receive voice messages that were accusatory and were talking about the library trying to sexualize children. Two of them, at the end of the message, used the same phrase: 'You better watch your back when you go to your car tonight,'" Knapp said.
Knapp called the threatening messages "really upsetting" to staff, who she said are already on "red alert" over the banned book challenges sweeping the nation.
"Now, we have to worry about program challenges, too," Knapp added.
Assistant Police Chief Richard Conklin said the Stamford Police Department is investigating the threats made against the library staff.
"These are threats that we certainly won't tolerate, and we are monitoring the situation," Conklin said.
Conklin said the department has stepped up security measures at the library as police continue to investigate.
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