Bible is banned in Utah district at elementary and middle schools

Bible is banned in Utah district at elementary and middle schools

A Utah school district has banned the Bible for elementary and middle school students after it was determined to be 'too vulgar' and 'too violent' for younger readers.

Officials in the Davis district - a 72,000-student district north of Salt Lake City - removed the religious text from elementary and middle schools but will keep it in high schools.

A committee with the district reviewed The Good Book after a complaint by a parent, and district officials say the committee is made up of parents, teachers and administrators.

There was also a complaint to remove the Book of Mormon from younger students' libraries.

District spokesperson Chris Williams confirmed that someone filed a review request for the Book of Mormon but would not say what reasons were listed. Citing a school board privacy policy, he also would not say whether it was from the same person who complained about the Bible.

Williams said the district doesn´t differentiate between requests to review books and doesn't consider whether complaints may be submitted as satire. The reviews are handled by a committee made up of teachers, parents and administrators in the largely conservative community.

The district has removed other titles, including Sherman Alexie´s 'The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian' and John Green´s 'Looking for Alaska,' following a 2022 state law requiring districts to include parents in decisions over what constitutes 'sensitive material.'

The committee published its decision about the Bible in an online database of review requests and did not elaborate on its reasoning or which passages it found overly violent or vulgar.

The review committee determined the Bible didn´t qualify under Utah's definition of what's pornographic or indecent, which is why it remains in high schools, Williams said. The committee can make its own decisions under the new 2022 state law and has applied different standards based on students´ ages in response to multiple challenges, he said.