A school district in Utah has agreed to remove the Bible from classrooms after a parent complained that the text contains descriptions of sex and violence.
The David School District decided, after a committee reviewed the complaint, to pull the Bible from elementary and middle schools because of “vulgarity and violence.” The Bible will still be available in high schools in the district.
Christopher Williams, a spokesman for the Davis School District, told The Salt Lake Tribune in an emailed statement that there were seven of eight elementary and middle schools that have copies of the Bible.
Under a 2022 state law, books containing “pornographic or indecent” content are barred from both libraries and classrooms in Utah schools.
The complaint about the availability of the Bible was initially filed in December 2022 but became public information in March.
“Get this PORN out of our schools,” the parent wrote. “If the books that have been banned so far are any indication for way lesser offenses, this should be a slam dunk.”
In the complaint, the parents wrote that the Bible contained multiple topics in violation of the state law – including “incest, onanism, bestiality, prostitution, genital mutilation, fellatio, dildos, rape, and even infanticide.”
“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,” wrote the parent, according to a copy obtained by The Tribune.
The parent also accused the right-leaning Utah Parents United of “making this bad faith process so much easier and way more efficient.”
“Now we can all ban books and you don’t even need to read them or be accurate about it,” the unnamed parent wrote. “Ceding our children’s education, First Amendment Rights, and library access to a white supremacist hate group like Utah Parents United seems like a wonderful idea for a school district literally under investigation for being racist.”
Utah Parents United encourages parents to ask for the removal of “sexually explicit books” from children’s school libraries. On Instagram, the organization said that it did not believe the law on “indecent material” was intended to remove the Bible but that decision would ultimately still further its mission – noting its agreement with state Senator Todd Weiler.
“If we have to lose the Bible out of school,” he said, per KSL NewsRadio. “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.”
The June 1 decision is set to take immediate effect. Utah Parents United said the decision is being appealed.