Following complaint against Bible in schools, Book of Mormon receives complaint for “sensitive content”
Jun 2, 2023, 7:30 PM | Updated: Jun 5, 2023, 9:15 am
(Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News)
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Ivory sponsored HB 374. This bill requires schools to do a full review if parents complain about a book that contains “sensitive content.”
Co-Sponsor Sen. Todd Weiler, R-Woodscross, told Jeff Caplan’s Afternoon News on Thursday that he was surprised by the decision to remove the Bible.
“The intent of the law is clearly to have a method of removing books with clearly, explicit, like x-rated type scenes,” Weiler says.
A spokesperson for the Davis School District says this is not the only book its review committees are considering.
“Committees have completed 60 initial reviews and eight appeals,” says Spokesperson Chris Williams. “There are also 40 pending initial reviews and 16 pending appeals. So there’s lots of work being done by these committees.”
Among these books are the Bible and The Book of Mormon. At this time, KSL NewsRadio has not seen the complaint against the Book of Mormon.
Response from Utah Parents United
One group that’s been extremely outspoken on this issue, Utah Parents United, says in a statement that they want the district to remove these other books under review.
Read the full statement below:
“Utah Parents United believes it is a parent’s right and responsibility to teach their child about sex and sexuality. The law is very clear that schools are not allowed to provide sexually explicit materials.
We agree with the book committees ruling that the Bible is not sexually explicit and is age-appropriate for high school students.
The parent who challenged the Bible was clearly doing so in (an) attempt to undermine parents who are working diligently to protect children from harmful stimulants in schools.
Instead, their efforts have resulted in a ruling that we hope to use as a baseline for age appropriateness in elementary and middle schools in Davis School District. Parents have challenged books that have a much higher level of vulgarity and violence than the Bible.
We call on Davis School District to remove those inappropriate materials from elementary and middle school libraries.
We also ask Davis School District to continue to remove books that meet the definition of “sensitive material harmful to minors” under the law. Those are materials that contain a Description or depiction of illicit sex or sexual immorality” as defined under code 1227:
(i) human genitals in a state of sexual stimulation or arousal;
(ii) acts of human masturbation, sexual intercourse, or sodomy;
(iii) fondling or other erotic touching of human genitals or pubic region; or
(iv) fondling or other erotic touching of the human buttock or female breast.”
Do librarians want to ban the Book of Mormon, the Bible and other books?
Additionally, there’s pushback from librarians.
Rebekah Cummings, with the Utah Library Association Advocacy Committee, says this is something happening nationwide.
“I think this is part of a larger fear campaign to make sure that librarians stop purchasing books that they disagree with,” Cummings says. “Which again, overwhelmingly represent the LGBTQ community.”
An American Family Survey in October found that just 12% of Americans agree that books should be removed from libraries if a parent objects.
“The vast majority of parents don’t support book bans,” Cummings says. “And, most people don’t think this is a good use of (the) district’s time and resources.”