Read More Atheist Republic A parent in Utah challenged the Bible under a state law that bans “pornographic or indecent” material in schools, which had been used to remove books written by black and LGBTQIA+ authors from shelves.
Bible ban? School district reviews religious text at parent’s request https://t.co/pI3hjAMid1
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The unnamed parent submitted a book challenge to the Davis School District last December, describing the Bible as “one of the most sex-ridden books around,” and asked the district to remove it from school shelves for further review, using the House Bill 374 as justification for the challenge.
“I thank the Utah Legislature and Utah Parents United for making this bad faith process so much easier and way more efficient,” the parent, whose name and address were redacted, said.
“Now we can all ban books, and you don’t even need to read them or be accurate about it. Heck, you don’t even need to see the book!” the parent added.
The parent who filed the December 11 Bible challenge included an eight-page list of verses the complainant said were unacceptable under House Bill 374.
“Incest, onanism, bestiality, prostitution, genital mutilation, fellatio, dildos, rape, and even infanticide,” the parent said, noting that they read the Bible. “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.”
“Get this PORN out of our schools,” the parent continued. “If the books that have been banned so far are any indication for way lesser offenses, this should be a slam dunk.”
The parent also accused Utah’s government of “ceding our children’s education, First Amendment Rights, and library access to a white supremacist hate group like Utah Parents United.” An investigation from the US Department of Justice back in 2021 discovered that Davis School District ignored “serious and widespread” racial harassment on purpose for years.
Sponsored by Republican state representative Ken Ivory, House Bill 374 was passed in response to the actions made by Utah Parents United, a conservative group that claims to advocate parental rights in schools. The law makes it mandatory for public K-12 schools to remove books deemed “indecent” or “pornographic.”
And the sequel: pic.twitter.com/yxL7ONQDee
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The curriculum director of the group, Brooke Stephens, even went so far as to file a report to authorities claiming that 47 books on the shelves of the Davis School District’s libraries violated state law because they contained “pornographic” content.
In response to the book challenge, Ken Ivory described the action as a political stunt that would “drain school resources.”
“There was a purpose to the bill and this kind of stuff; it’s very unfortunate,” Ivory argued. “There are any number of studies that directly link sexualization and hyper-sexualization with sexual exploitation and abuse. Certainly, those are things we don’t want in schools.”
“For people to minimize that and to make a mockery of it is very sad,” Ivory complained.
As for Utah Parents United, the group said, “we believe in following the law. That’s all we’re asking schools to do,” adding that they are not explicitly targeting books containing racism and LGBTQIA+ themes.
Nevertheless, Davis School District spokesperson Christopher Williams said the Bible challenge was given to a committee for further review.
“We don’t differentiate between one request and another,” Williams said. “We see that as the work that we do.”