PARIS — The Select Board has scheduled an emergency meeting for Monday, Nov. 21, at the Town Office at 4:30 p.m. to consider a pair of petitions to recall two Maine School Administrative School District 17 board members.

Nearly 700 Paris residents signed the petitions seeking the recall of directors Julia Lester and Sarah Otterson, largely due to their vote in support of a gender identity policy currently being considered by the MSAD 17 board.

The controversial issue has divided parents in the Oxford Hills region. According to opponents, the policy would allow the school to withhold information such as a student’s gender identity and preferences, such as changing their pronoun or name in school, keeping it confidential from parents when the student requests it. Proponents claim the policy would help to protect children.

The first reading of the proposed policy passed on an 11-7 vote. The second and final reading is tentatively set for early December.

The petitions were presented to selectmen at their meeting last Monday. The board postponed action on accepting the petitions and scheduling a vote, following the advice of town attorney Philip Saucier from the law firm Bernstein and Shur in Portland. At the time, Saucier had questions on whether the town’s recall ordinance dealing with elected officials would cover people voted to serve on the MSAD 17 board of directors.

“This is not clear to me that a municipal ordinance can apply to school board members,” Saucier wrote in a memo to the board. He said he needed more time to research and wanted to consult with the school district’s attorney on the matter.

The board was unanimous in saying they needed to listen to their attorney to make sure the recall ordinance covered school board members and not just elected town employees.

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