Girl Scout’s Anti-censorship Commendation Censored by Board of Supervisors

Inspired by the Hanover County School Board’s decision to ban 19 books from the libraries in the schools they oversee; on June 2023 Kate Lindley started Free to Read, her project for the Girl Scout Gold Award.

She created a Free to Read app with information on each book, including why it was banned and how to access copies of the books. After the board banned a further 75 books in November of 2023 Kate went a step further and set up book nooks in two local businesses.

Screenshots of the Free to Read app

I think that everyone who has observed the national mania for book-banning that has been emerging over the past few years agrees that it is positively Orwellian; but this is where things start taking a turn for the Kafkaesque. On April 10, the Hanover County supervisors met to approve language honoring the Girl Scouts that had completed their Gold Award projects. During the meeting the supervisor for the Cold Harbor District Michael Herzberg pulled Lindley’s proclamation and submitted a motion for amending it, removing language that identified locations where the books were available as well as any mentions of censorship or banned books.

The Board of Supervisors has bestowed upon me the greatest honor anyone fighting censorship and banning could receive by censoring me and my project ~ Kate Lindley

When the young adults of our society act with more maturity and decorum than the actual adults that are running things, I get a hankering for generational change in leadership. Then I feel guilty for wanting to dump the problems created by my generation and the ones that have come before us onto the next generation that are still growing and learning.

We need to address these issues and let our kids be kids. Looking at them, and the work they are already shouldering to make the world they are on the cusp of inheriting a better place I know that they are going to be alright!

Links for more information

Hanover girl scout creates ‘banned book nook’ after new policy takes 19 books off school shelves: https://www.wric.com/news/local-news/hanover-county/hanover-girl-scout-creates-banned-book-nook-after-new-policy/

Hanover Girl Scout fights censorship with ‘Banned Book Nooks’ https://www.wvtf.org/news/2023-10-12/hanover-girl-scout-fights-censorship-with-banned-book-nooks  

Hanover County students fight the book ban https://www.vpm.org/2024-02-22/hanover-county-students-fight-the-book-ban

Hanover County supervisors censor commendation for Girl Scout who fought censorship https://www.wvtf.org/news/2024-04-11/hanover-county-supervisors-censor-commendation-for-girl-scout-who-fought-censorship

Free to Read app: https://studio.code.org/projects/applab/GTpC1hoILFC2YN0ej-pIhcq3vV-8WlJ8hef1d1sRV-o

Free to Read Instagram page: https://www.instagram.com/free_to_read/

Original draft of the proclamation celebrating Kate Lindley: https://hanovercova.portal.civicclerk.com/event/1134/files/attachment/4131

Amended proclamation: https://hanovercova.portal.civicclerk.com/event/1130/files/attachment/4310

Girl Scouts of the USA Gold Award: https://www.girlscouts.org/en/members/for-girl-scouts/badges-journeys-awards/highest-awards/gold-award.html

Free to Read Amazon wish list: https://www.amazon.com/hz/wishlist/ls/N2DGIA2OFUGH?ref_=wl_share

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