The move comes after a parent complained that the King James Bible has material unsuitable for children.
Elementary and Middle Schools in US State Ban Bible ‘Due to Vulgarity and Violence’
The 72,000-student Davis School District north of Salt Lake City removed the Bible from the schools while keeping it in local high schools after a committee reviewed the scripture in response to a parent’s complaint that the King James Bible has material unsuitable for children.
The committee did not elaborate on its reasoning or which passages contained “vulgarity or violence”.
The parent’s complaint, which gained national attention when it was reported in March, cites Utah’s 2022 law banning any books containing “pornographic or indecent” material. The statement calls the Bible “one of the most sex-ridden books around,” and includes an attachment of passages from the Bible they believe violate the law.
The banning of the Bible comes amid a larger effort by conservatives in US states to ban teachings on controversial topics like LGBT rights and racial identity. Bans on certain books deemed offensive are also in place in Texas, Florida, Missouri, and South Carolina. Some liberal states have also banned books in some schools and libraries, citing perceived racially offensive content.
The Utah decision was made this week by the Davis School District after the parent filed the complaint filed last December. Officials say they have already removed the seven or eight copies of the Bible they had on their shelves, noting the text was never part of students’ curriculum.
Utah state lawmaker Ken Ivory who wrote the 2022 law had previously dismissed the Bible removal request as a “mockery”, but changed course this week after calling it a “challenging read” for younger children.
“Traditionally, in America, the Bible is best taught, and best understood, in the home, and around the hearth, as a family,” he said.
The district’s ruling determined that the Bible’s content does not violate the 2022 law, but does include “vulgarity or violence not suitable for younger students”.
The district is not the first in the US to remove the Bible from its shelves.
A Texas school district removed the Bible from library shelves last year after complaints from members of the public opposed to conservatives’ efforts to ban some books.
Last month, Kansas students requested to have the Bible removed from their school library.