TRUMBULL - Trumbull resident Ellie Grosso described to U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal during an anti-racism forum Thursday what she saw at a recent Trumbull Board of Education meeting, where residents angrily shouted at school administrators. "They shut parts of the meeting down," Grosso said. Grosso was referring to a July 13 school board meeting where residents and parents interrupted a presentation, criticizing both pandemic policies and a presentation from the State Education Resource Center, intended as an update on the progress of a school committee on equity and social justice. Those in attendance shouted down a presentation when the word "whiteness" appeared on screen, questioning the rationale for including that in the meeting. The presentation was focused on the Courageous Conversation Protocol's three-part framework. Labeled "The Conditions" it was a six-point list that included topics such as "Focus on what is personal, local and immediate," and "Use a working definition for race." Part 6, "Examine the presence and role of 'Whiteness'" appeared to cause a stir among a group of parents that had attended the meeting to speak out against mask requirements in schools. The incident comes at a time when many school districts are seeing increasing opposition about topics related to race in school curriculum. Grosso and other Trumbull residents asked Blumenthal during a Thursday meeting for guidance on how to counteract opposition to teaching about racism and at the same time how to advocate anti-racist causes. Blumenthal admitted he didn't know all that much about the recent Board of Education meeting in Trumbull but said he is willing to hear out residents. Yet he condemned any attempt to penalize educators. "Teachers should never be punished for teaching history accurately and objectively," Blumenthal said. Other teachers in attendance at the meeting echoed worries that the recent meeting signaled a rise in school administrators being pressured to curb any teaching of historical and present day racial injustices. One of the participants criticized Grosso for her insistence that people of color experience racism. She also criticized in passing the Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Task Force, which was effectively dissolved earlier last year due to criticism stemming from the chair equating the thin blue line flag to the Confederate flag. Wayne Winston, an activist hosting the Zoom meeting, referenced a strategy by the National Rifle Association, which gave politicians letter grades based on their commitment to gun rights. He said it would be a good idea to enact a similar strategy for politicians who are committed to anti-racist actions. Grosso said the timing is urgent due to the significance it has on the town. "We don't have the luxury of saying 'that's the Board of Education, we're not involved there.' This affects everything in the town," she said.