Davis schools remove Bible from certain school shelves
Jun 1, 2023, 4:28 PM | Updated: Jun 2, 2023, 8:00 am
(Scott G Winterton, Deseret News)
FARMINGTON, Utah — A legal analyst in Utah said that nobody intended a Utah law to be used to remove the Bible from Davis School libraries.
But that’s exactly what happened this week when as KSL.com reported, the Davis School District removed the Bible from some school shelves.
The district first received a complaint in December. It cited H.B. 374 Sensitive Materials in Schools, a law passed in 2022 that set up a review process for school districts to follow if somebody complains that a book has sensitive content.
The Davis School District completed the process, and this week decided that the Bible (because it contains vulgarity and violence) is only appropriate for high school-aged students.
“The more mature kids can probably handle some of the more mature language in the book,” said KSL Legal Analyst Greg Skordas, who also said lawmakers should have seen this coming.
“When the legislature passes a bill that regulates vulgarity and violence in books at school, they intended to have books removed,” said KSL Legal Analyst Greg Skordas. “Somebody has decided, ‘well if that’s your standard then somebody should take a look at the Bible.'”
Skordas said he expects that Utah lawmakers will have to take another look at the law because “this was never intended.”
Response from Sen. Todd Weiler to Davis schools removing Bible
Sen. Todd Weiler, oner of the co-sponsors of the bill, joined Jeff Caplan’s Afternoon News on Thursday to share his reaction to the action taken by the Davis School District.
He said he was surprised.
“Yea, I am surprised,” Weiler said. “And the intent of the law is clearly to have a method of removing books with clearly explicit, it’s like X-rated-type scenes.”
“If we have to lose the Bible out of school,” he said. “I don’t think a lot of kids are reading the Bible in school libraries. But if that’s the cost it takes to get X-rated material out of our schools, I think it’s a small price to pay. But I think this is a ridiculous decision.”
Response from Davis School District
A district review of the King James Version of the Bible found the book did not contain sensitive material as defined in Utah Code 76-10-1227, 76-10-1201, or 76-10-1203, said a spokesman for Davis School District, Christopher Williams. But at the same time, the committee decided to keep the book only at the high school level based on age appropriateness.
“That decision has since been appealed by an individual who would like it retained at all levels,” Williams said.
Because of the appeal, the book has been removed. It will be reviewed again by a three-member committee of the Davis School District Board of Education.
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