The Republican Party and its allies are waging a nation-wide war to limit individual freedoms: the freedom to make reproductive healthcare choices; the freedom for parents to help their children get gender affirming healthcare, the freedom of teachers and corporations to exercise their First Amendment rights, the freedom for children to be safe from gun violence, and the freedom to have access to diverse collections in our public and school libraries.
This war is being waged in Hanover, with the current battle being a fight over which books will be allowed in school libraries. The Hanover County School Board proposed a change to its policy that allows an individual to challenge the appropriateness of library or text books for various grades. The current policy already gives ample opportunity for parents to give input and have books reviewed. In fact this policy has been used by parents to remove a book from a school library. Parents always have the option to say their child should not read certain books.
The new policy would make it easier for one person, whether a parent or not, to challenge a book and have it pulled from libraries across the county even as it is being reviewed. This new policy is unnecessary and would be prone to abuse. There is a nation-wide effort to limit the access to books, particularly those by Black or LGBTQ authors.
Please consider attending the next School Board meeting on June 13 at 7 pm at 200 Berkley Street to speak against the policy or attend to support those who are opposing it.
If you want to speak during public comment time, submit a request NOW to email@example.com that includes your magisterial district and the topic of your comments. The guidelines for public comment are: “Public comment is included as part of the school board’s agenda during each regularly scheduled monthly business meeting. Any citizen may address the board on any matter that is within the scope of the board’s authority. The time allotted to each speaker shall be three (3) minutes. Please visit BoardDocs for more information."
In the meantime write or call each of the School Board members to express your opposition to this proposed policy.
John F. Axselle III, Beaverdam District - Chair
Phone: (804) 798-7782; email: SBfirstname.lastname@example.org
Term ends on June 30, 2023
Robert J. (Bob) May, South Anna District - Vice Chair
Phone: (804) 752-4646; email: email@example.com
Term ends on June 30, 2025
Ola J. Hawkins, Ashland District
Phone: (804) 357-3743; email: SBfirstname.lastname@example.org
Term ends on June 30, 2024
Steven Ikenberry, Cold Harbor District
Phone: (804) 514-2197; email: email@example.com
John E. Redd, Jr., Mechanicsville District
Phone: (804) 746-7112; e-mail: SBfirstname.lastname@example.org
George E. Sutton, Henry District
Phone: (804) 779-3324; email: SBemail@example.com