Bible banned in schools in Utah in US over 'vulgarity and violence'text_fields
Utah, the US: The occurrences of vulgarity and violence prompted a school district in the US state of Utah to declare a ban on the Bible in elementary and middle schools under a law aimed to ban ‘pornographic or indecent’ from educational books after a parent complained that some part of materials contained in the King James Bible is not suitable for the children.
In 2022, the Republican government of Utah passed a law aimed at curbing the inclusion of 'pornographic or indecent' references in books taught in educational institutions.
The Davis School District, located north of Salt Lake City, made the decision this week after a complaint was filed in December 2022. District officials have confirmed the removal of the seven or eight copies of the Bible from school shelves, clarifying that the text was never included in the student's curriculum.
The banned books under the new law primarily pertained to topics surrounding sexual orientation and identity. This exclusion of the Bible is part of a broader effort by conservative factions across several US states to prohibit teachings on contentious subjects such as LGBT rights and racial identity.
Similar bans on books deemed offensive have also been enacted in Texas, Florida, Missouri, and South Carolina. It is worth noting that some liberal states have also implemented restrictions on certain books in schools and libraries, citing concerns over racially offensive content.
The district has previously removed other books, such as Sherman Alexie's "The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian" and John Green's "Looking for Alaska," in compliance with the law.
The complaint, submitted last Friday, specifically targeted the Book of Mormon, which holds significance within Utah's predominant faith, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The district spokesperson confirmed that the review request had been received but did not disclose the reasons behind it or whether it was submitted by the same individual who complained about the Bible.
The committee responsible for the review consists of teachers, parents, and administrators, and they published their decision without providing specific details on their reasoning or the specific passages they deemed objectionable.
Officials have confirmed the removal of the seven or eight copies of the Bible from school shelves, clarifying that the text was never included in the students' curriculum. However, the committee responsible for the decision did not provide specific details regarding which passages were considered to contain "vulgarity or violence."
The parent who filed the complaint stated that the King James Bible "has 'no serious values for minors' because it's pornographic by our new definition," referring to the 2022 book-ban law. Initially dismissing the request as a "mockery," the Utah state lawmaker who authored the 2022 law changed his stance after deeming the Bible a "challenging read" for younger children. He emphasized that the Bible is best taught and understood within the familial context, in line with traditional American values.
The Davis School District ruling concluded that while the Bible's content does not violate the 2022 law, it does contain elements of "vulgarity or violence" unsuitable for younger students. Consequently, the Bible will remain accessible only in local high schools.
However, it is important to note that this is not the first instance of the Bible being removed from school library shelves. Last year, a Texas school district undertook a similar action, prompted by objections from members of the public who opposed conservative efforts to ban certain books.
Additionally, in Kansas, students recently requested the removal of the Bible from their school library, further intensifying the ongoing discussion surrounding the presence of religious texts in educational settings.