EDUCATION + SCHOOLS
Should the Bible be banned from school libraries?
Mar 22, 2023, 5:05 PM | Updated: Mar 24, 2023, 11:14 am
(Jefferee Woo/Tampa Bay Times via AP)
SALT LAKE CITY — An unknown person wants the Bible banned from libraries in the Davis County School District.
Dave & Dujanovic discuss book bans with a spokesman for the school district and Republican state Sen. Todd Weiler, who represents Salt Lake and Davis counties.
Davis County response
Chris Williams, Davis School District director of Communication and Operations, said the person seeking to ban the Bible in Davis County school libraries has cited 49 pages in the Bible as allegedly in violation of district policy, which will be reviewed by a committee.
He said the committee will then check the 49 pages against Utah Code 76-10-1227 — Indecent Public Displays — for any violations.
In 2022, the Utah Legislature approved House Bill 374, which lawmakers described as a means to ban pornographic material from K-12 libraries and classrooms.
Williams added 80 other books in district libraries are also being challenged. He stressed that books remain on library shelves while being challenged.
Any parent in the district can ask that their child not have access to a school library book. Fewer than 10 parents have made such a request thus far, Williams said.
The Davis County School District teaches about 72,000 students.
State senator shares insights
“So we’ve got laws, we’ve got committees. Why not just let parents parent?” Debbie asked.
“I have no idea what is in my school’s library,” Dave said. “If there are books that are inappropriate, especially for the age of that child, I have a problem with that.”
Weiler said the discussion is not about banning books.
“We’re talking about parents who are questioning books with pornographic content [and] why that should be in their child’s school library. . . We’re saying some books belong in a school library and some clearly don’t,” he said.
Dave said there are passages in the Bible that make him “squirm.”
“Should the Bible be banned from school shelves? Or is there an age appropriateness for the Bible?” Dave asked.
“Absolutely not. It shouldn’t be banned. My best guess is that — I don’t have any evidence to back this up — this was a protest request. I think it’s somebody who is against this parent-review policy,” Weiler said.
Debbie said it doesn’t make sense that one school district bans the Bible while another does not.
“All the other school districts in the state don’t have to abide by that ban because it’s just one district,” she said.
“But the state law that we passed last year — that’s been in effect for less than a year — says that parents can challenge pornographic material. I think you’re gonna be hard pressed to say the Old Testament — although it’s got some interesting passages — you’re going to be hard pressed to say that that’s pornographic,” Weiler said.
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