May 5, 2005
By Ginger Walker
I want to thank the Loudoun Connection for reprinting Nikki Buchholz’s powerful short story, “Ava Lynn’s Fear.” It is troubling that the advisor of Stone Bridge High School’s literary journal believes this important short story must be edited prior to publication. Like Tim Buchholz, Nikki’s father, I don’t blame the advisor, however — I blame Dick Black for creating an atmosphere of censorship so severe that even a story intended to call attention to the atrociousness of child sexual abuse must be made “inoffensive.”
Black claims he’s a Christian but he demonstrates none of the compassion Jesus Christ taught. Black is now attempting to use his twisted version of Christianity to rob Loudoun County Public School students of their First Amendment rights. I also find it ironic that while our armed forces fight for freedom in Afghanistan and Iraq, Dick Black is utilizing the exact strategies of the Taliban: censorship, religious extremism, and fear. It’s horrifying to see one of our elected officials encouraging fear and silence among the students in our public schools.
Nikki Buchholz’s experience is very disconcerting, and, while unlikely, I hope this is the last we’ll hear of such devastating censorship in our county. People like Dick Black believe that if students are not allowed to discuss sexuality or sexual abuse, these issues will disappear. This perspective is incredibly irresponsible. With the censorship of “Ava Lynn’s Fear,” child victims of sexual abuse are done a terrible injustice as a result of Dick Black’s abuse of power.