Utah district bans Bible from elementary and middle schools over 'vulgarity,' 'violence'
The review committee found the Bible did not contain pornographic or indecent content under Utah's definition of the law, which is why it is still in high schools.
Utah's second-largest public school district removed the Bible from its elementary and middle schools after a parent who was upset by book bans filed a complaint against the Good Book in protest of a state law that made it easier to remove content deemed "pornographic or indecent" from schools.
A committee reviewing the complaint at the Davis School District, which has nearly 74,000 students from pre-K to 12th grade, decided to "retain the book in school library circulation only at the high school level based on age appropriateness due to vulgarity or violence," according to district spokesman Christopher Williams, NBC News reported Friday.
The parent who made the original complaint wrote that the Bible contains "[i]ncest, onanism, bestiality, prostitution, genital mutilation, fellatio, dildos, rape, and even infanticide," according to a copy of the request obtained by The Salt Lake Tribune.
"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 parent also wrote, citing the Utah law passed in 2022 that bans state schools from having books with "pornographic or indecent" material in libraries and classrooms.
The review committee found the Bible did not contain pornographic or indecent content under Utah's definition of the law, which is why it is still in high schools, Williams told The Associated Press.
A person who wants the Bible to remain available for all students appealed the committee's decision, which will be debated by a three-member panel from the district's Board of Education before going to the entire committee to decide.
The Book of Mormon may be the next book banned in the district. A person filed a review request Friday for the Book of Mormon, which is the signature scripture of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, of which more than 60% of Utah residents are members of, per the Tribune. Williams would not say the reasons listed in the request to review the Book of Mormon, nor would he say whether it was the same parent who complained about the Bible.