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Hanover County supervisors censor commendation for Girl Scout who fought censorship

One of Hanover student and Girl Scout Kate's "Banned Book Nook" at Morr Donuts in Mechanicsville, VA.
Brad Kutner
Radio IQ
One of Hanover student and Girl Scout Kate's "Banned Book Nook" at Morr Donuts in Mechanicsville, VA.

The Hanover County Board of Supervisors spent their Wednesday afternoon meeting approving language to honor a handful of Girl Scouts for completing their Gold Award projects, among other items.

But one Girl Scout, whose project was designed to fight what she sees as censorship in the county’s school system, had her commendation “amended.”

Cold Harbor District Supervisor Michael Herzberg pulled out the proclamation for Hanover County student Kate Lindley from a group of proclamations for Girl Scouts achieving their highest honor.

Lindley’s Gold Award project involved setting up Banned Book Nooks.

It’s an idea she came up with after Hanover County removed over 75 titles from school libraries, claiming they contained “inappropriate language,” “violence” and “sexually explicit content.”

Lindley’s project got media attention, and she’s since grown her project’s collection to over 400 books, giving access to the censored literature where it might otherwise be denied.

You can find out more via Lindley's Instagram account for the project here.

And while her original proclamation language specifically mentions quote “identifying locations where books were available that had been banned by Hanover County Public Schools libraries,” Supervisor Herzberg’s motion led to quote “amending” -Lindley says censoring- that detail along with any other mention of banned books or censorship.

“The Board of Supervisors has bestowed upon me the greatest honor anyone fighting censorship and banning could receive by censoring me and my project,” Lindley said.

In a statement, a spokesperson for Hanover County said that items on the consent agenda are quote “always subject to change or amendment” and that’s what happened Wednesday.

And while Lindley is set to graduate in the next few weeks before heading off to college, she plans to attend and receive whatever commendation the board of supervisors is willing to give her.

But she plans to let them know how she feels afterward.

Brad Kutner is Radio IQ's reporter in Richmond.