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The King James version of the Bible has been removed in several Davis School District schools in Utah, after it was determined that it contained "vulgarity or violence." A petition was made in response to state law that resulted in the removal of many books containing sexual content from school libraries.
Fox 13 Salt Lake City reported that the King James Bible was removed from an estimated seven or eight elementary and junior high schools after a district review committee decided to pull the Bible from all non-high schools. The committee found it contained "vulgarity and violence."
However, a district spokesperson reportedly said that the Bible "does not contain sensitive material as defined by Utah Code," but decided to pull it anyway because it was found to be inappropriate for some ages.
In March 2023, a Utah parent petitioned to have the Bible removed from schools and called it “one of the most sex-ridden books around." The parent claimed the historical book included “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," the parent said. The King James Bible was then removed from the aforementioned schools upon the subsequent review.
A law passed in Utah in 2022 is the source of the controversy, as it sought to ban books that were sensitive to certain age groups. The law says that if a parent has made a formal request, schools must remove books that contain:
- "Human genitals in a state of sexual stimulation or arousal";
- "Acts of human masturbation or sexual intercourse";
- "[or] fondling or other erotic touching of human genitals or pubic region."
Republican State Representative Ken Ivory remarked that characterizing removing some books as book-banning is really "an attempt to simply, you know, hyperbolize what's going on; we're simply clarifying age-appropriate limits."
However, Michele Edgley, president of the Utah Educational Library Media Association, told Fox 13 that she didn't think that parents had the right to get books banned.
“I don't think that most parents have either the right or the knowledge of the student bodies to be banning books for the entire school," she explained.
The decision to remove the Bible was swiftly appealed by another person who wants the book returned to every school. The decision now lies with the appeals committee to determine whether it is suitable to return.
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