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Utah district bans Bible from elementary and middle schools because of "vulgarity or violence"

June 5, 2023
A committee in the Davis school district acted in response to a parent who argued that the Bible is "one of the most sex-ridden books around."

The Davis (Utah) district has decided to remove the Bible from elementary and middle schools because it contains “vulgarity or violence.”

The Salt Lake Tribune reports that committee appointed by the district to decide if the Bible is appropriate for students to view at school will let the Bible remain available in high schools but will be taken out of elementary and middle schools.

The action was taken in response to a parent complaint who asserted it was time to remove “one of the most sex-ridden books around.”

The parent's complaint was in reaction to conservative groups seeking to remove "inappropriate" books--especially those with LGBTQ content--from school libraries.

“Incest, onanism, bestiality, prostitution, genital mutilation, fellatio, dildos, rape, and even infanticide,” the parent wrote in the request, listing topics found in the Bible. “You’ll no doubt find that the Bible, under Utah Code Ann. § 76-10-1227, has ‘no serious values for minors’ because it’s pornographic by our new definition.”

The code cited is the Utah law passed in 2022 to ban any books containing “pornographic or indecent” content from Utah schools, both in libraries and in the classroom.

Based on the new code, something is indecent if it includes explicit sexual arousal, stimulation, masturbation, intercourse, sodomy or fondling. According to state attorneys, material doesn’t have to be “taken as a whole” in those situations or left on the shelf during a review. If there is a scene involving any of those acts, it should be immediately removed.

In the complaint about the Bible, the parent attached an eight-page listing of passages from the Bible deemed offensive and worth reviewing.

The committee’s decision has been appealed by a parent who wants the Bible to remain on the shelves for students of all ages.

To handle that appeal, the district will now form a committee consisting of three members of the Davis school board.

The board will make the final decision in an upcoming public meeting. A date for that has not yet been set.

About the Author

Mike Kennedy | Senior Editor

Mike Kennedy, senior editor, has written for AS&U on a wide range of educational issues since 1999.

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