BY JOE TENNIS | BRISTOL HERALD MAIL
Washington County residents spoke about banning books and keeping God in children’s lives at Tuesday’s meeting of the Washington County Board of Supervisors.
Janice Reeves, who lives on Court Street in Abingdon, spoke out in favor of funding the public library, but opposed the book ban in Washington County.
The county would “be on a slippery slope by banning the books,” Reeves said. “Banning and burning books” is a hallmark of “fascism.”
For Reeves, reading a book about different people teaches readers “how much alike we are,” she said. Banning the books would make the county “a laughingstock,” Reeves said.
Discussion of the banning of a book titled “Lawn Boy” from the Glade Spring Public Library has been brought to the attention of supervisors by public speakers at recent meetings. In previous meetings, speakers have called for “Lawn Boy” to be removed from the library, including Washington County Revenue Commissioner Mark Matney.
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Starting to pull books because of two or three people’s opinions shouldn’t be allowed, said speaker Carol Yates. Yates spoke as a mother and said her favorite place growing up was the library.
“Hearing people talk about banning books drives me crazy,” she said. “It can take away someone’s place, someone’s magic place.”
Jane Johnson of Bristol, Virginia said, “Pornography has no place in the library, especially for children.
Christal Trivett-Presley, author and former Honaker resident now living in Alvarado, explained how libraries hold books that can help you decide what kind of person you want to be and what kind of career you want to have.
If you don’t agree with the idea presented in a book, “don’t check it out,” she said. But to remove this option is to remove “freedom of expression”, she added. “I think that’s dangerous territory that takes people’s stories away.”