NEWBURYPORT — Mayor Sean Reardon on Wednesday defended removing flyers advertising Thursday night’s controversial Citizens for Responsible Education event from City Hall and the Newburyport Public Library.

Conservative Facebook group Citizens for Responsible Education held a “What is Social Emotional Learning?” forum at the Newburyport Elks Club Thursday night and had placed flyers advertising the event at the two municipal buildings late last week.

Mayor Sean Reardon got a look at the CRE flyers at both buildings and said, since the library has guidelines which only allow local, non-profit organizations and groups to put up flyers, and since there was no mention of the group’s status or contact information included, he took them down late last week.

“There was nothing inappropriate on the flyer. But they are not really a non-profit and no one who was looking at that flyer could really say that they could call the group and find a little bit more about the event. So I decided that they should be taken down, because there was nowhere to really go if someone wanted to get further information on it,” he said.

However, in a text message to The Daily News last Friday, Reardon said the CRE’s message itself was “not in line with the City of Newburyport’s values of being an inclusive and welcoming community.”

Reardon added he has no problem with CRE hosting an event in the city but added that he was also uncomfortable that the group was charging a $20 admission fee for Thursday night’s event.

“I think they should have their event, they are well within their rights to do that. I don’t really share their views with what is going on in our schools. A couple of city councilors have reached out about it but no residents reached out about it or were even talking to me about the event,” he said.

Staff writer Jim Sullivan covers Newburyport for The Daily News. He can be reached via email at jsullivan@newburyportnews.com or by phone at 978-961-3145. Follow him on Twitter @ndnsully.

Staff writer Jim Sullivan covers Newburyport for The Daily News. He can be reached via email at jsullivan@newburyportnews.com or by phone at 978-961-3145. Follow him on Twitter @ndnsully.

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