The Botetourt County Board of Supervisors is leaving it up to parents to determine what kids can read from the county libraries.
It’s been a months-long push by parents and other advocates to draw attention to some of the books in the Botetouty County libraries system.
Charles Ruhl is part of a newly formed organization called B.R.A.C.E., Botetourt Residents Against Child Exploitation.
Ruhl like hundreds of other parents, according to a signed petition, are concerned over some of the books with explicit material in the libraries. Their fear is the books would distort human sexuality.
“The confusion that it creates, that’s what we’re fighting against. We’re fighting against trying to make things sexually explicit to children when they’re not prepared for it,” Ruhl said.
Ruhl joined several other parents and advocates who spoke during Monday’s Board of Supervisors meeting.
Alex Stewart is on the opposing side of the issue. He argues that one group shouldn’t determine what’s right vs. what’s wrong for his kids to read.
“Rather than celebrating parental choice, these people are trying to take the choice away from other parents. They’ve already made their choices about what’s okay for their kids to see and they’re trying to tell me what my child can see,” Stewart said.
The Board of Supervisors is sending a resolution to the Botetourt County Library Board requiring anyone under the age of 18 to have a parent with them while at the library.
The Botetourt County Libraries’ current policy, which was endorsed by the Board of Supervisors, is that children under the age of 13 must be supervised by a parent or responsible adult over the age of 18.
B.R.A.C.E. believes it’s not about the age of kids rather it’s about the content.
“If I was 13, I can pull a book off a shelf and go in a private corner and read it … it’s there,” Ruhl said.
On the other hand, Stewart says it’s still the parent’s responsibility to monitor what their kids are reading.
“I think we have ample opportunity to do so as parents who use the Botetourt library system already,” Stewart said.
Source: WSLS News 10