LAYTON -- The American Civil Liberties Union of Utah has requested a meeting with Davis School District Superintendent Bryan Bowles to discuss the constitutional implications of removing a book about gay parenting from elementary school library shelves.
The district removed "In Our Mothers' House," by Patricia Polacco after a group of parents complained.
The book has not been banned by the district and students who present a signed parental permission slip still read "In Our Mothers' House."
The ACLU sent a letter Tuesday to Bowles requesting a meeting to discuss the book's removal
Federal courts have consistently concluded that the First Amendment protects student access to books in school libraries even if administrators disagree with viewpoints expressed in those books, John Mejia, legal director of the ACLU of Utah, said in a prepared statement.
"From what we know of the district's removal of the book, we have serious concerns that the district may have fallen short of these protections," he said.
Leah Farrell, a staff attorney for the ACLU of Utah, said her organization also hopes to determine if other books have been removed from library shelves in the Davis School District.
The ACLU letter to Bowles also takes issue with the district's claim that "In Our Mothers' House" was removed to comply with a state law that purports to ban materials that advocate homosexuality from school health curriculum.
"School library books, however, are generally extra- curricular, and in particular are not generally part of the health curriculum," the letter sates. Assuming, that 'Our Mothers' House' is part of the health curriculum, it would be a stretch to say it advocates homosexuality."
Bowles was in meetings Tuesday and could not immediately comment on the ACLU's request for a meeting, said Shauna Lund, a communications specialist for the Davis School District.