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Ogden school officials have fielded three book challenges since policy update

By Tim Vandenack - | Mar 11, 2023

Briana Scroggins, Standard-Examiner file photo

This Aug. 3, 2016 photo shows the Main Branch of the Weber County Library in Ogden getting prepped for renovations.

OGDEN -- While parents and others in the Davis School District have sought the review of 80 books to remove them from school shelves, the numbers in the Ogden School District barely register a blip, comparatively.

"A parent submitted a challenge for three books on March 6, 2023. These are the only challenges since H.B. 374," said Jer Bates, Ogden School District spokesperson. The books await formal review.

That's not to say more challenges won't come, but those in the Ogden School District haven't clamored as intensely as their Davis County counterparts for the review of books in the wake of House Bill 374's passage last year. H.B. 374 states that "sensitive materials" -- pornography and "indecent" sexual content -- are prohibited in books in public schools, and the measure spurred officials in the Ogden, Weber, Davis and other school districts across Utah to update their book-review polices to comply.

The issue came up quietly at the Davis school board meeting last Tuesday when the Davis school board upheld earlier decisions to remove four books per H.B. 374 because of sexual content in their pages. The removals, previously considered by a special committee, sparked no discussion and bring the number of books to be removed from Davis School District libraries to 33. Another 32 books, including the Bible, still face review in Davis County while 10 others will be retained and five more will also be kept, though only at the high school level.

Officials in Weber School District have fielded no requests to remove books since adopting a policy update in October, according to Lane Findlay, spokesperson for Weber School District.

Prior to the challenges submitted in March, Bates said the Ogden district had not received any challenges in the last five years, at least.

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