To the editor:

“I CAN’T BREATHE”

Isaiah 11:6 - The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them.

The First Amendment allows all citizens the freedom of speech and the right to assemble. Our citizens, along with many citizens across our great nation, have been protesting the illegal death techniques used in the life taken away from George Floyd. 

Miss Nevaeh Hodges is the granddaughter of Kenneth and Mary Hodges who is the proprietor of H&M Logging Enterprise located in Sinai. Nevaeh Hodges is a rising senior at Halifax County High School.    

It has come to my attention that Miss Nevaeh Hodges, and those who assisted her in putting together a protest held in Constitution Square on Tuesday, June 2 deserves to be recognized.  

I am deeply moved at how Nevaeh and the organizers insured that the event was well organized, peaceful and meaningful to the citizens of Halifax County and South Boston. Nevaeh showed this is the type of leadership we need from our youth. I found out Nevaeh came up with the idea on her own and worked with others on how to put together a well-organized peaceful protest.  

It is with great pleasure that I recognize the citizens for joining her and being a model for the State of Virginia and the United States on how to get your point across in a peaceful protest. Now is not the time to pretend like everything is alright when we have seen with our own eyes the attack on several black men and women regarding the inhumane treatment from certain officers from our police force dealing with people of color. We must speak up against injustice and inequality for all our citizens, and no one should receive the treatment George Floyd received by the people who should be protecting us.  

Nevaeh, I want to personally thank you for a job well done, and this is truly an example of what our children can do if given a chance to lead. I look forward to meeting with you in person and recognizing you for an outstanding job.  

Black Lives Matter, and I fully support the movement across our great nation and across the world of how we need to rid racism from our society.  We must work together and insure that all our citizens of all races are treated fairly, equally and respectfully at all times.  

A great appreciation to the Board of Supervisors, county administrator, mayors of South Boston and Halifax, Commonwealth Attorney, Halifax County Sheriff and deputies, towns of South Boston and Halifax Police Departments, Virginia State Police, South Boston Fire Department and all First Responders for working together to ensure the safety of all our citizens.  

The Halifax County Board of Supervisors is very appreciative to everyone for putting together a peaceful protest, and I am proud of you Nevaeh for an outstanding job. I wish you continued success in your high school academics and again I am so proud of you.  A job well done!

 A special thanks goes to First Sergeant Gregory T.  Scott, JROTC assistant instructor at Halifax County High School and Mr. Anthony Womack of Misunderstood for assisting her with ideas in making sure the protest was very meaningful.  

Hubert Pannell

chairman, Halifax County Board

of Supervisors