Thank you to the supporters of Botetourt Youth with Character Academy
Twenty-one rising sixth graders, representing each of the seven elementary schools, attended the Botetourt County Youth with Character Academy held at Fincastle Baptist Church July 11-13. The academy was sponsored by the Botetourt County Character Counts! Leadership Council.
The attendees participated in team building activities at Camp Bethel on the first day of the academy and on other days participated in hands-on activities for each of the six pillars of character. On the third day of the academy, the attendees took Character Counts! into the community by volunteering at the Botetourt Food Pantry, participating in a mock trial led by Judge Paul Tucker, and playing Bingo with the residents at the Brian Center.
We would like to thank the following businesses and organizations who provided funding for the academy: Bank of Botetourt, Botetourt County Town and Country Women’s Club, Botetourt Education Association, Botetourt Recreation Department, Catawba Masonic Lodge 342, Daleville-Fincastle Lions Club, Daleville Food Lion, First Bank, and Reynolds Management.
We also appreciate the support of Botetourt County Public Schools for providing transportation for the field trips, to Fincastle Baptist Church for allowing us to use their facility for the academy, to Camp Bethel for providing team building activities and lunch, and to the Botetourt Women’s Farm Bureau for providing lunch.
Without the support of these businesses and organizations, the academy would not have been possible.
Wanda Martin, Chairperson
Youth with Character Academy
Resolution fails to resolve controversy
“You’re on your own.” That was the message county leaders delivered to Botetourt parents at the Board of Supervisors meeting on Monday evening, July 31.
In usual fashion, the board voted 5-0 in favor of a resolution to recommend that the Library Board modify its policies to restrict library access to children over age 13 unless accompanied by an adult or guardian.
This resolution comes in response to repeated public demands from county residents that children’s books in Botetourt libraries containing graphic, pornographic, and sexually seductive narratives be immediately removed. In opposition are those who condemn any restrictions on content which they invariably characterize as “book banning” and censorship.
In Virginia, library boards have no authority to enact policy changes. Therefore, the Board of Supervisors’ resolution—read aloud by each of the supervisors in turn—amounts to nothing more than virtue signaling.
Virtue signaling is the name given to political statements or actions that give the appearance of embracing what is right without actually committing oneself or doing anything substantial. It has become a common tactic of weak-willed politicians and civic leaders who want to mitigate controversy or criticism. But it clearly does not work in this case.
Judging from comments on the Botetourt County Facebook page, there is now more criticism, not less, as a result of the July 31 Board of Supervisors resolution. Most. or all, of the contested books and videos have been placed in public libraries since the county hired Julie Phillips as Botetourt library director. Phillips was terminated from her previous post as branch manager of the Pelham Road library in Greenville, S.C., after she advocated for Drag Queen Story Hour events for small children in the Palmetto State. Months later, she was brought here.
Contentions over sexually explicit library books are raging in several Virginia counties and states throughout the U.S. Growing numbers of states are severing ties with the taxpayer-funded American Library Association for its promotion of child-sexualizing, LGBT-affirming, and gender confusing materials for young children through its Rainbow List.
Botetourt residents did not choose to battle over library books. The issue was forced upon them by the county administration’s hiring of an activist as library director. Perhaps this is a good time for Botetourt parents and citizens to consider whether children are worthy of protection and whether public officials have a duty to help them.
Compromise is a useful political tool to bring strong differences of opinion to a peaceful conclusion on many local issues. However, Botetourt supervisors may soon learn that moral compromise is never possible where the health and welfare of children are concerned. If they do, they will take the necessary action to prevent children from being exposed to materials that are intentionally designed to steal their innocence and cause them permanent harm.
In any case, steadily increasing public opposition to efforts by the ALA and the Botetourt library director to sexualize young children would seem to indicate that a final resolution to this controversy yet a long way off.
County should condemn dilapidated building
I’m a lifelong Botetourt citizen and live in Troutville.
I remember the whole stink storm during the Exit 150 road project. Now, years later, visitors to the area using the controversial million dollar roundabout project have to look at that raggedy graffiti truck wash building.
Botetourt County officials are all about appearance. Daleville now has hundreds of millions of dollars worth of construction. But, to get to any of it, you have to look at this dump! Are Botetourt County officials blind? Politicians are too worried about stopping a trail from coming through from Craig County, I can’t even comprehend why the county is letting this dump still stand. There are vacant buildings in Detroit that look better than this dump.
Botetourt County officials should be ashamed of themselves. The owner of this place should be embarrassed. This place is an embarrassment to the county. This is the FIRST building people see exiting the interstate, for crying out loud.
I think if this kind of crap keeps going on, we need to vote every official that has anything to do with real estate out of office. I mean, come on, enough is enough! The county needs to condemn this place. They had no problem running the T/A out of the county, and it was a running/operating, revenue-making business. Priorities! If I had to guess, someone in a county position owns this property, hence the reason nothing is done.
I’ve seen the county let stupid stuff happen in my 40 years here, this by far is the stupidest thing I have ever seen.