Girl Scout banned books project censored by Hanover Board of Supervisors: 'It's a sad day'

imani thumbnails (5).png
Posted at 11:29 PM, Apr 25, 2024
and last updated 2024-04-25 23:34:56-04

HANOVER COUNTY, Va. -- A Hanover Girl Scout is speaking out after she says she was censored by the Hanover County Board of Supervisors during the recognition of her senior project.

Girl Scout Kate Lindley created a project for the Girl Scouts "Gold Award."

Considered the "most prestigious award in Girl Scouting," the Gold Award is the highest honor a Girl Scout can receive. Girls can pick an initiative they are passionate about and spend extensive time creating and executing a project about the chosen initiative, according to the National Girl Scout website.

Lindley's project was "Banned Book Nooks" which she created through her "Free to Read Project." She said the nooks give space to restore access to the books that Hanover Schools banned from their libraries in 2023.

“It exposes more community members to these titles hopefully ending their demonization," Lindley said.

Kate Lindley

The Hanover Board of Supervisors chose to recognize four girls in the Hanover area who received the award at the start of their meeting Wednesday night.

Lindley said she knew a self-submitted summary of her project, was modified by the board.

In early April, Cold Harbor District Supervisor Michael Herzberg and the board voted to amend the proposed summary of the proclamation to exclude any language around banned books.

The news of the omission of the project's details drew dozens out to a Hanover Board of Supervisors meeting to show support for Lindley.

During public comment, some said that it was shameful to not fully honor the hard work of Lindley's project.

bbn 2.jpeg

Others said the board's amendment of Lindley's summary was disrespectful.

“It’s a sad day when the leaders of our county censor a teenager," said one speaker.

Lindley addressed the board's decision during public comment.

“You bestowed upon me the greatest honor you could. Greater than that of any proclamation in your censorship of my Gold Award project," she said.

Herzberg responded to Lindley and her supporters after public comment closed. He doubled down on his decision to amend the proclamation, saying that board members have the right to make changes.

“If anyone wants to support an author whose message is about pornography to children then people have the right to do that," Herzberg said. "As a board member, I have a right to say no that I don’t support that request and I also have the right to say yes I have the right to approve the substitute request so the Girl Scout could still get recognized for her Gold Award."

Michael Herzberg

In a statement to CBS 6, Herzberg said that most parents in his school district do not support pornography and sexually explicit material in taxpayer-funded libraries.

Herzberg added that de-selected books did not have his support to be part of a board proclamation, but he did support the substitute proclamation presented at the meeting. 

Supervisor Prichard who was not at the meeting where the amendment was made to Lindley’s proclamation, also addressed the concern.

“I do not believe that as we give proclamations in this building it is our job to evaluate projects. That is work the scouts have already done," Prichard said.

You can view Lindley's project at Morr Donuts in Mechanicsville and We Think In Ink in Ashland.

Depend on CBS 6 News and for in-depth coverage of this important local story. Anyone with more information can email to send a tip.

SHARE on social media to SPREAD the WORD!

EAT IT, VIRGINIA restaurant news and interviews



Watch 'The Jennifer Hudson Show' weekdays at 3 p.m. on CBS 6!

📱 Download CBS 6 News App
The app features breaking news alerts, live video, weather radar, traffic incidents, closings and delays and more.