A majority of Maine voters think public schools should have safeguards in place that prevent minor students from accessing books and other materials that are inappropriate for their age, a Maine Wire / Co/Efficient public opinion survey found this week.
By an even larger margin, Maine voters believe schools should allow parents to determine whether their children can access x-rated books and materials.
The results come from an exclusive Maine Wire / co/efficient poll conducted this week on the topic of parental rights in education.
62 percent of likely voters said schools should have safeguards in place to ensure students can only access material that is appropriate for their age level. That includes 80 percent of conservatives and 58 percent of self-identified moderates.
Liberal respondents did not support age-appropriate safeguards. According to the poll, 64 percent of self-identified liberals said schools should not have safeguards in place when it comes to the appropriateness of content minor students can access.
In terms of party registration, 80 percent of Republicans and 63 percent of unaffiliated voters supported safeguards, while Democrats were more divided on the topic. 47 percent of Democrats supported age-based restrictions, while 42 percent opposed; 11 percent of Democrats were unsure of how they felt about ensuring kids can only access age-appropriate material at school.
On a related question, an even larger majority of Maine voters said they believe parents should have the option to “opt-out” of curricula that they have determined is illicit or inappropriate for their children.
72 percent of Maine voters approved of the “opt-out” and 8 percent were unsure. 88 percent of conservatives and 70 percent of moderates said the “opt-out” option was a good idea.
53 percent of self-identified liberals said parents should not be allowed to instruct the school to keep illicit or age-inappropriate material away from their children.
The overwhelming, bipartisan support for limiting minor students’ access to illicit school materials stands in stark contrast to what’s been happening in Maine schools.
As controversial books, including books that depict children having sex, have come up for debate in school boards across the state, most boards have decided to continue offering the materials. Efforts to restrict minor students access to obscene and pornographic material has been equated to Nazi’s burning books and blamed on anti-LGBT bigotry.
Some school districts, like the Hermon School System, have resisted parents’ calls for a system that would ensure students are only accessing materials that are appropriate for their age level.
The Maine Wire will continue to release information and analysis from the Co/Efficient survey. Sign up for our mailing list to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.
The results come from an exclusive Maine Wire poll conducted of Maine general election voters in partnership with co/efficient, a research and analytics company that has worked on national campaigns, as well as state and congressional campaigns across the country.
The Maine Wire / co/efficient poll was conducted from Feb. 28 to March 1 and included 1,982 likely general election voters. The survey methodology used mobile text-based responses and landline interviews. Results were weighted according to age, gender, education level, and party registration. The poll carries a margin of error of +/- 3.09%.