A parent initially challenged the Bible and cited chapters that discussed s*x and violence as justification for its removal from Davis School District libraries. The district ordered that the book be reviewed. So it turned out.
The committee that the district created to examine the complaint and determine whether or not the Bible is suitable for children to access has now reached a conclusion: Davis High School will keep the religious volume on the shelf.
However, it will be removed from elementary and middle schools for “vulgarity or violence.”
The book challenge decision, which attracted national notice when it was initially reported in March, will go into action right now, as per Christopher Williams, a spokesman for the Davis School District, in an email to The Salt Lake Tribune this week.
He estimates that as the academic year ends, copies of the Bible will be taken down from seven or eight elementary and middle schools in the district.
A parent first questioned the scripture in December.
In their complaint, the parent stated they were upset by the recent removal of books from school libraries due to conservative groups in Utah and other states targeting literature they deem “inappropriate,” which has mainly targeted books about the LGBTQ community.
To have the Bible reviewed, the parent made their request, claiming it was time to do away with “one of the most sex-ridden books around”
Davis School District’s book review committee made the determination, though it’s already being appealed by another parent.https://t.co/BIFqXCGIya
— The Salt Lake Tribune (@sltrib) June 2, 2023
The parent listed issues they found alarming in the religious book, including “incest, onanism, bestiality, prostitution, genital mutilation, fellatio, dildos, rape, and even infanticide,” in their request.
You’ll undoubtedly discover that the Bible violates Utah Code Ann. 76-10-1227 since it is considered pornographic by our revised definition and has “no serious values for minors.”
The law referenced, adopted in Utah in 2022, prohibits any books with “pornographic or indecent” content from being used in Utah schools’ libraries or classrooms.
In the report of the new code, everything that involves explicit s*xual excitement, stimulation, mastu*bation, interc0urse, sodomy, or fondling is considered indecent.
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State attorneys assert that in some circumstances, the material need not be “taken as a whole” or put on hold pending a review. Any scene involving any of those behaviors must be taken out immediately.
The Nobel Prize winner Toni Morrison’s book “The Bluest Eye” and the graphic novel “Gender Queer,” which is about the author’s journey of self-identification, were among the books taken out of Utah classrooms due to this directive.
The parent attached an eight-page list of biblical verses they believed to be objectionable and worth reading along with their complaint about the Bible.
As reported by Williams, the district committee that examined the Bible found that it “does not contain sensitive material as defined in Utah Code 76-10-1227, 76-10-1201, or 76-10-1203.” However, the committee decided only to make the book available to higher-grade-level students.
He had stated that the book challenge would be treated seriously, just like any other grievance.
Williams added, however, that a different parent has already challenged the committee’s decision and wants the Bible to stay on the shelf for students of all ages.
The district will now create a committee of three Davis School District Board of Education members to handle that appeal. After reviewing the initial grievance and the request, they will submit a recommendation to the board for a vote.
The board will make the ultimate decision at a subsequent open meeting. There is no defined time for that yet.
The Bible will be returned to the shelves if the board determines it suits all students.
Other religious works, such as the Book of Mormon, Torah, and Quran, are available for loan from Davis School District without age limits. They have not faced opposition.
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