Last Updated on December 8, 2023 by Argufier
According to the petition, the Christian Scriptures are too vulgar and violent – the commission investigating this partially upheld the complaint.
In several states in the United States, parents have the opportunity to complain about certain things to the heads of public school districts. For example, they can hold school leaders accountable for what they teach the children, or what they don’t. In several places, they can even have a say in the contents of the school library.
In general, these tools are used by more conservative parents who want to remove books from school shelves that they believe are against American values, or portray historical characters, or even the country itself in a bad light, sometimes framing the founding fathers as too racist because of its troubled past.
Conservative politicians and opinion leaders consider the school and the university sphere to be one of, if not the most important arenas of the culture war, and therefore Republican politicians deal a lot with this part of the culture war, so in more and more Republican-led states, laws are passed that would suppress those books in schools that they think children are too young for, but mostly conflict with the worldview or values of Republicans.
In general, they want to ban books that, for example, deal with critical race theory (CRT) – this interdisciplinary theory mainly examines how politics, law or even the media transforms racial and social perception, but according to conservatives, the purpose of the whole thing is to paint white people as racist – or, according to them, to spread LGBTQ propaganda under the heading of sensitization.
Fed up with this ongoing culture war, a Utah parent decided to file a school complaint against the Bible to have it removed from school walls, saying it was too vulgar and contained many violent scenes that would harm elementary and middle school students (In the USA, the structure of the schools looks a little different, they go to primary school between the ages of 5 and 11, high school between the ages of 11 and 13, and then the gymnasium until the age of 18).
The parent did this to make fun of those who try to ban all kinds of books. To his surprise, however, the school district not only took his announcement seriously, but also partially upheld it.
So, in a school district in Utah, the Bible was banned from elementary school libraries with immediate effect.
Thus, it will not be possible to find the work Christians call Scripture in schools reserved for the 5-11-year-old age group, while it is still available for 11-year-olds and high schools, reports NPR.
Back in March, the parent asked for an investigation into whether the Bible is actually acceptable reading for children ages 5 to 13, after the Republican state passed a law in 2022 that would ban books containing “pornographic or indecent” material from elementary school students.
According to the filing, the parent saw the Bible as “one of the most sexualized books” in schools, and that the book contained details and appendices that violated passages of the 2022 law passed by the Republican-dominated state legislature.
According to the committee, this does not happen at all, but nevertheless they felt that the availability of the book should be limited, so it is only allowed in secondary schools, i.e. from the age of 11.
A parent has already appealed against the committee’s decision, while a Republican representative of the state responded to the case in a statement. At first, Ken Ivory thought that the woman was only making a complaint because of teasing, but in his statement on Thursday night, he changed this to the fact that the Bible is challenging reading for a small child, and it can be best taught and understood at home, in a family setting.
After the committee’s decision, the Davis School district received complaints about the scriptures of other religions, the NPR article mentions the Book of Mormon as an example.
By the way, not only the Bible is removed from the shelves of the schools belonging to the Davis School school district, but also, for example, Toni Morrison’s book The Bluest Eye, which shows through the imagined life of an African-American girl what it was like to grow up as a black girl during the Great Depression, while in addition to racism, it also deals with the topics of child molestation and incest.