Monday, September 27, 2010

Georgia Teen Banned From Libraries For Proselytizing

COLUMBUS, Ga. — A 16-year-old boy has been banned from all branches of the Chattahoochee Valley Regional Library system for six months for proselytizing.

According to a letter from Kirsten Edwards, acting manager of the North Columbus Public Library, Caleb Hanson repeatedly asked patrons "about their religious faith and to offer biblical advice."

Caleb received the letter through his parents, Tim and Elizabeth Hanson, who are in Columbus on furlough from mission work.

He said he was given several warnings, since June, from the library on Britt David Road.

"At first (library employees) warned me not to do it," he said. "Then they took me into an office and told me not to do it."

He said he then began talking to people outside the library, and patrons continued to complain.

Claudya Muller, the director of the Chattahoochee Valley Regional Library system, said the ban "had nothing to do with what he was saying, but he was warned multiple times. ... As people came in, he would approach them. He prevented people from simply using the library."

In addition to the North Columbus branch, the system includes the Columbus, South Columbus, Mildred L. Terry, Cusseta-Chattahoochee, Lumpkin, Marion County and Parks Memorial public libraries. The ban was effective Aug. 28.

No comments: