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Davis School District removes Bible from junior high, elementary schools

By Tim Vandenack - | Jun 1, 2023

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A copy of the Bible.

FARMINGTON — Per the decision of a Davis School District book review committee on whether the Bible is a suitable book in schools, it won’t be allowed in junior high or elementary schools.

It will be retained only at high schools, not at facilities with younger students, “based on age appropriateness due to vulgarity or violence,” Christopher Williams, the district spokesman, said in an email Thursday to the Standard-Examiner.

The May 22 decision, however, has been appealed by someone who would like the religious book permissible at all Davis School District facilities, he said, so the issue isn’t yet completely settled. A different committee made up of three members of the Davis School District Board of Education will consider the appeal.

“That committee will then make a recommendation to the full Board of Education whether to retain or remove it from school library circulation. The board will then make the final decision,” Williams said.

Davis School District students are now on summer break, but the May 22 decision means the Bible will be removed from all junior high school and elementary school libraries. District officials think seven or eight elementary and/or junior high schools had the Bible on their shelves.

“If an appeal reverses that decision, the book is placed back on the shelves,” Williams said.

Passage of House Bill 374 last year requiring rigorous new rules to root out “sensitive materials” in public school libraries has spurred numerous bids across Utah targeting literature with content some critics view as overtly sexual. In response, an apparent critic of the bill and calls by others to remove books from school shelves took aim at the measure, asking last December that the Bible be banned from Davis School District libraries.

In a variously scathing and tongue-in-cheek explanation for the request to remove the Bible, the petitioner — who hasn’t been publicly identified by school officials — noted that some passages in it touch on such themes as incest, bestiality, prostitution, genital mutilation and more.

In allowing the Bible to remain on high school library shelves, the review committee determined the book didn’t contain “sensitive materials” of a sexual nature as defined in state law. The decision to pull it from junior high and elementary school shelves stemmed from “vulgarity or violence” in its pages, according to Williams.

One hundred books have been challenged in Davis School District schools for apparent sexual content. Some have been removed, others still face scrutiny.


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