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Frustrated by book challenges and bans in their school district, a parent in Utah decided to file a complaint about the Bible himself.
THE The Davis School District took the parents’ objection seriously, posing the Bible in question. This week, the district officially decided to remove religious text from elementary and middle school libraries for containing « vulgarity or violence. » The ban will go into effect immediately, with Bibles being removed from classrooms even if they close for the summer.
THE parental complaint, which garnered national attention when it was reported in March, cites Utah’s 2022 law that bans any book containing « pornographic or indecent » material. The statement calls the Bible « one of the most sex-infused books around » and includes an attachment of Bible passages they believe violate the law.
Under Utah law, books such as The bluest eye by Toni Morrison e Genre Queer by Maia Kobabe have been removed from schools.
The Bible review committee for the Davis School District determined that it does not meet the requirements to violate state law, but that it should still be restricted to school-age students. The decision is already being appealed by another parent, and that appeal will be decided in a future public meeting.
Ken Ivory, a Republican lawmaker in the state, released a statement Thursday reversing his position on the ban, after initially calling the complaint a « mockery. » He wrote that the Bible is « inspiring reading » for children and that the Bible is « best taught and best understood, at home and around the hearth, as a family. »
The Bible was sixth on the American Library Association’s list of the most banned or contested books in 2015, though these were largely challenges, not outright bans. The Bible hasn’t been on the list since. In 2022, PEN America recorded only one instance of the Bible being removed for review in Texas.
On the day this decision was announced, the Davis School District also received a request to review the Book of Mormon for inappropriate content. The Book of Mormon is a foundational text for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, a major religion in the state. A district spokesperson he told the Salt Lake Tribune they plan to form a similar committee to review this text as well.