FARMINGTON, Utah — The Bible has been removed from all elementary and middle school libraries throughout the Davis School District after someone challenged its contents.
A committee tasked with reviewing books that fall under review for sexual content last week determined that the Bible will be retained at district high schools, but removed from all elementary and middle schools, Christopher Williams, Davis School District’s director of communication, told KSL.com.
In lieu of the initial ruling — which came last week — a new appeal to the ruling was filed Wednesday, asking for the district to retain the Bible in all district schools, meaning the religious book will again be reviewed by a committee.
Review committees for the district are made up of an odd number of people and each committee includes a facilitator selected by the district’s teaching and learning director, at least one administrator working in a district department or school, a licensed teacher who is teaching English language arts or another relevant subject in a district school, a librarian who works in a district school and a minimum of four parents with students enrolled in a district school, according to district policy.
The challenge was originally filed with the district on Dec. 11, 2022.
“The district review committee reviewed the book in its entirety and determined that the book does not contain sensitive material as defined in Utah Code § 76-10-1227,§ 76-10-1201 or § 76-10-1203,” read the rationale explaining the decision in the district database. “Therefore, according to Utah law, the book has been retained in school library circulation.”
The district’s online database for book challenges said the decision was to “Retain for High School,” but doesn’t specifically say whether the Bible can be found in elementary and middle school libraries throughout the district.
Williams said the district estimates that seven to eight elementary and junior high schools had the Bible on its shelves prior to the committee’s ruling.
“The committee also decided to retain the book in school library circulation only at the high school level based on age appropriateness due to vulgarity or violence,” Williams said. “That decision has since been appealed by an individual who would like it retained at all levels. It will now go to an appeals committee consisting of three members of the Davis School District Board of Education.”
“That committee will then make a recommendation to the full Board of Education whether to retain or remove it from school library circulation. The board will then make the final decision,” Williams said.
The Utah Legislature in 2022 approved the contentious HB374, which lawmakers have described as a way to weed out content found to be pornographic from K-12 libraries and classrooms.
The bill, sponsored by Rep. Ken Ivory, R-West Jordan, defines “sensitive material” as instructional materials that are pornographic or indecent, colloquially referred to as the “bright line” rule in state code.