A Utah school district in the United States has outlawed the use of the Bible for elementary and middle school students due to concerns that it was too violent or profane.
According to a Daily Mail article, the parents of these children grew outraged and demanded that the bible be banned in that portion of the district because it was too obscene for its intended demographic.
The Davis district, a 72,000-student district north of Salt Lake City, was forced to adopt the ban due to pressure from these students’ parents.
Before the bible was banned in the district, a committee comprised of parents, teachers, and administrators read it.
According to district spokeswoman Chris Williams, the Book of Mormon has also been taken from the libraries of younger pupils after someone filed a review request for it to be removed as well.
Other titles, such as Sherman Alexie’s ‘The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian’ and John Green’s ‘Looking for Alaska,’ have been withdrawn by the district in response to a 2022 state legislation mandating districts to involve parents in choices about what constitutes’sensitive material.’
The committee’s verdict on the Bible was published in an online database of review requests, but it did not elaborate on its reasons or specific sections it judged excessively violent or obscene.
The decision comes as conservative parent activists, notably state-based chapters of the organization Parents United, converge on school boards and statehouses around the country, raising concerns about how sex and violence are discussed in classrooms.
According to a copy of the complaint obtained by The Salt Lake Tribune via a public records request, the parent stated that the Bible contains incidents of incest, prostitution, and rape. The complaint referred to a “bad faith process” and said that the district was “ceding our children’s education, First Amendment rights, and library access” to Parents United.
‘Utah Parents United omitted one of the most sex-ridden literature available: The Bible,’ according to the parent’s complaint, dated Dec. 11. ‘You’ll no doubt find that the Bible (under state law) has ‘no substantial values for kids’ because it’s pornographic by our new definition,’ it continued.
According to Williams, the review committee found that the Bible did not meet Utah’s definition of what is pornographic or immoral, thus it remains in high schools. According to the new 2022 state law, the committee can make its own decisions and has implemented varied requirements based on children’ ages in response to multiple issues, he added.