A Utah school district has reversed its decision to remove the King James version of the Bible from elementary and middle schools. The move by Davis School District comes after a unanimous vote by the district, responding to an outcry from concerned parents and community members.
— One America News (@OANN) June 21, 2023
The initial removal of the Bible was motivated by concerns over what was perceived as “vulgarity or violence” within its pages. This decision was prompted by a petition that arose in response to a state law requiring the removal of books containing explicit sexual content from the district libraries.
The district undertook a review of 60 books, resulting in the complete removal of 37 books from all levels of education, and the partial removal of 14 books.
However, shortly after the Bible’s removal, the district was faced with multiple appeals requesting its reinstatement as Republican lawmakers led criticisms against it. Recognizing the significant value the Bible holds for minors, the school board ultimately decided to bring it back, outweighing any supposed concerns about violent or vulgar content it may contain.
The school board president Liz Mumford, who was among those who voted in favor of reinstating the Bible, firmly believes in its importance for minors. She emphasized that the Bible possesses “serious literary, artistic, historical, and political value” that should not be overlooked.
The controversy surrounding this issue stems from a state law that stipulates the removal of books from schools upon formal request by parents. The law targets books containing explicit sensual content, such as depictions of human genitals in a state of arousal, acts of intercourse or masturbation, and erotic touching of genital or pubic regions.
Rep. Ken Ivory (R-UT) highlighted the issue last October when he presented a slideshow to lawmakers, showcasing examples of such objectionable content in the district’s libraries.
One such book intended for junior high school students featured explicit depictions of lesbians engaging in oral stimulation. Similarly, a book aimed at high school students centered around the concept of being “gender queer” and depicted two men engaged in sensual activities.
The slideshow also revealed shocking evidence that a high school library within the district went as far as celebrating a “Banned Books Week,” with signage saying, “Find out why these books have been banned in other places (but not in Davis County)!”
Among the books showcased during the event was one that depicted a disturbing story involving an adult engaging in intercoursal relations with a 10-year-old boy.
One book available to junior high school students depicted explicit scenes of lesbians engaging in oral sex, while another targeted high school students with its discussion of being “