We are a group of Botetourt County residents who have come together to promote healthy, wholesome, and age-appropriate children's books and media and to ensure that only these are offered to children in our public libraries.

 

We oppose the efforts of the Botetourt County Library Director and the American Library Association to make available to children books and materials that distort human sexuality.  We oppose any efforts to sexualize children and to confuse them about gender.  

We are NOT proposing book banning.  In fact, our libraries remove hundreds of books each month from shelves to make way for new books.  Those removed books are not "banned."  But they were removed because of someone making a judgment about the value of the books. 

What we ARE proposing is the establishment of sensible and reasonable community standards.  We the residents of Botetourt County deserve input into what is added and what is removed to better serve our community and our community standards.

And this is not about free speech. The Supreme Court has ruled that the First Amendment does not protect obscenity (1973 Miller case). And the Court ruled in 2003 (US vs. ALA) that “libraries have wide discretion to exclude pornography and other sexually explicit material” and that “a library’s interest in protecting its minor patrons from harmful sexual materials is not only legitimate, but compelling.”

Stand with us and demand that the Botetourt County Board of Supervisors orders the removal from libraries of sexually explicit material aimed at children and teens.  Keep in mind, it is our tax dollars that provide these books and DVDs. 

What's at stake?  What happens when children are confused about gender and sexualized from an early age?

 

  • From 2007 to 2017, suicides for 15-19 year-olds increased by 76% and suicides for 10-14 year-olds increased by 178%.  (1)

 

  • In a 2020 survey, 25.5% of 18-24 year-olds admitted to having seriously considered suicide in the past 30 days.  (2)

 

  • In a 2023 survey, 46% of 13-17 year-olds identifying as LGBT and 34% of 18-24 year-olds identifying as LGBT considered suicide in the past year.  (3)

 

  • In a 2022 survey, 42% of 18-24 year-olds have been diagnosed with a mental health condition (primarily depression and anxiety).  57% of those are on medications (typically SSRIs).  (4)

 

  • From 2016 to 2020, drug use among 8th graders has increased by 61%.  (5)

 

  • Among sexually active 14-19 year-olds 45.5% of females and 22.5% of males have been diagnosed with HPV infections.  HPV is linked to different cancers and has been blamed for a sharp increase in throat cancers.  (6)

 

  • Almost half of the 26 million new cases of STD infections reported in 2018 occurred among 15-24 year-olds.  (7)

 

  • Schools reported 15,000 sexual assaults in 2017-2018, a 55% increase over the previous year.  (8)

 

  • The number of High School students identifying as LGBT went from 11% in 2015 to 26% in 2021, a 136% increase.  The percentage of High School females identifying as LGBT in 2021 was 40%. (9)(10)

 

That increase is not a natural, organic development - this is being created!

 

(1)  NCHS Data Brief, Number 352, October 2019 (cdc.gov)

(2)  Mental Health, Substance Use, and Suicidal Ideation During the COVID-19 Pandemic — United States, June 24–30, 2020 | MMWR (cdc.gov)

(3)  The Trevor Project: 2023 U.S. National Survey on the Mental Health of LGBTQ Young People

(4)   State of Gen Z Mental Health 2022 - harmonyhit.com

(5)   Teenage Drug Use Statistics [2023]: Data & Trends on Abuse (drugabusestatistics.org)

(6)   Prevalence of Genital Human Papillomavirus Among Sexually Experienced Males and Females Aged 14–59 Years, United States, 2013–2014 | The Journal of Infectious Diseases | Oxford Academic (oup.com)

(7)   Adolescents and Young Adults | Prevention | STDs | CDC

(8)   https://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/docs/sexual-violence.pdf

(9)   Overview and Methods for the Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System — United States, 2021 | MMWR (cdc.gov)

(10) Table 4: Number and percentage of students, by sexual identity — United States and selected U.S. sites, Youth Risk Behavior Surveys, 2021 (cdc.gov)

 

In July, our County Supervisors doubled down by unanimously passing resolutions in support of our Library Director who is directly responsible for the books in question and for all existing policies which allow these books to be acquired and protected.  As of January we now have two new Supervisors, Walt Michael and Brandon Nicely.  Let's see if they can convince their peers to do the right thing to protect our children.

What Can You Do?

Contact your County Supervisor and demand that these books are removed

Call 540 928-2006 or email:

 

Amsterdam District

Steve Clinton (Library Liaison)

sclinton@botetourtva.gov

 

Blue Ridge District

Walter Michael

wmichael@botetourtva.gov

 

Buchanan District

Amy White

awhite@botetourtva.gov

 

Fincastle District

Brandon Nicely

bwnicely@botetourtva.gov

 

Valley District:

“Mac” Scothorn

mscothorn@botetourtva.gov

 

Attend the next Board of Supervisors Meeting and give your opinion during the Citizens Comments session:

Board of Supervisors | Botetourt County, VA (botetourtva.gov)

 

 

 

 

Contact your State Legislators and tell them you want the obscenity law exemptions for schools and public libraries repealed in Virginia

 

Delegate Terry Austin

540 254-1500

DelTAustin@house.virginia.gov

 

Senator Christopher Head

540 283-2839

senatorhead@senate.virginia.gov

 

 

Educate yourself

To learn about the books and to see for yourself what's objectionable, click below on  The Books  (for Adults Only)

 

To see the latest news and resources on this issue, click below on Resources

 

To better understand the current library policies and processes in our County, and the role of the ALA, click below on Libraryspeak

 

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