CANDIA, NH (CBS) – A small one-building elementary and middle school in a tiny New Hampshire town has boldly taken on one of the most contentious political debates in the country.

“I never would have thought this day would come,” said Henry Demers outside the Candia First Stoppe Country Store.

Thursday, the school board voted on a new policy at the Moore School, allowing children to choose bathrooms based on the gender with which they identify. “I think we’re moving forward in a place that’s progressing,” said Valerie Dancewicz.

But the opinions in rural New Hampshire are just as extreme as they are across the country. “I’m brought up in the old school,” said Al Camarata. “Men with men, women with women, and this doesn’t make sense at all. It just doesn’t seem right.”

The differences may explain why none of the school board’s five members who voted, agreed to explain why on camera with WBZ-TV. Calls to the School Superintendent went unanswered.

In town, people had plenty to say. “It’s a small area, so it’s a good population size to kind of try it at least,” said Joe LoCore.

But Demers has concerns. “I feel that’s not safe. I think any man could put on a dress and go into a woman’s room. That’s not safe.”

School officials say other districts will likely follow Candia’s lead. Hooksett, Concord, and Durham have also been discussing transgender policies.

Christina Hager