Davis School District north of Salt Lake City removed the Bible from elementary and middle schools after parents complained about “vulgarity and violence.”
Other titles were also removed
72,000-student Davis School District also removed other titles, including Sherman Alexie’s “The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian” and John Green’s “Looking for Alaska” after the state law included parents in deciding which books contain “sensitive material.”
The state law came from the Republicans
The law was established in 2022, and in many states, it relates to books that explore sexual orientation and identity. The highest numbers of book bans are happening in Texas, Florida, Missouri, and South Carolina.
No value for the minors
A parent filed a complaint in December 2022. Salt Lake Tribune writes that the parent who complained said the King James Bible “has ‘no serious values for minors’ because it’s pornographic by our new definition.
The parent cited numerous reasons to remove the Bible
The parent wrote, “Inc..st, onanism, bestiali..y, prostitution, genital mutilation, fella..io, dild..s, rape, and even infanticide,” adding, “You’ll no doubt find that the Bible, under Utah Code Ann. § 76-10-1227, has ‘no serious values for minors’ because it’s pornographic by our new definition.”
Initially, some called it “mockery”
Many claimed that the parent who filed a complaint was making a “mockery,” but that changed as many other parents called it a “challenging read” for younger children.
The district’s ruling
The Bible does not violate the 2022 law but does include “vulgarity or violence not suitable for younger students.” The book will remain in place in local high schools.
This is not the first time the Bible has been cited as challenging
A Texas school district pulled the Bible from library shelves in 2022. Last month, however, students in a Kansas school district wanted the Holy Book removed.
Davis School District’s statement
Christopher Williams, Davis School District’s director of communication, said, “The Bible is not taught as part of the curriculum,” adding that seven or eight elementary and junior high schools in the district had the Bible available in their libraries, but it will be removed. NBC reported that the committee’s decision has been appealed “by an individual who would like it retained at all levels.”
American Library Association shared a message
Deborah Caldwell-Stone, director of ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom, said, “ALA opposes censorship of any materials that meet the information needs of a community’s members, including students.”
The statement concluded
Caldwell-Stone added, “Librarians have a professional responsibility to be inclusive rather than exclusive in developing their collections and should address all information concerns of all those who use the library, including their religious information needs. “
Politics above education
Caldwell-Stone shared, “The curation of library collections for young people should not be left to politicians and advocacy groups who place politics above young peoples’ education needs.”
Outrage beyond one book
Kasey Meehan, who directs the Freedom to Read program at the writers’ organization PEN America said, “If folks are outraged about the Bible being banned, they should be outraged about all the books that are being censored in our public schools.”
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