US

A parent angered by a spate of book bans across the US has taken revenge, of sorts – by getting the Bible banned from some of Utah’s schools.

The Davis School District, which has nearly 74,000 children, has largely removed the book from circulation but has kept it in high school libraries.

In a copy of the parent’s complaint seen by NBC News, they said their effort to ban the Bible was a protest against a 2022 state law that made it easier to remove “pornographic or indecent” content from schools.

They said: “I thank the Utah Legislature and Utah Parents United (a conservative activist group backing the law) for making this bad faith process so much easier and way more efficient”.

“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, whose name is redacted in the complaint, submitted eight pages setting out objectionable material from the Bible, including examples of incest, prostitution, rape, genital mutilation, bestiality, and infanticide.

More on Utah

They described the Bible as “one of the most sex-ridden books around” and concluded that, under the new law, it had “no serious values for minors because it’s pornographic by our new definition”.

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The news comes as conservative activists have turned their attention to schools throughout the US to influence what children are taught about sensitive issues.

The American Library Association has warned the effort to ban, limit or restrict books is on the rise, with one of the group’s directors, Deborah Caldwell-Stone, saying: “The curation of library collections for young people should not be left to politicians and advocacy groups who place politics above young peoples’ education needs.”

District spokesman Chris Williams said a committee had decided to “retain the book in school library circulation only at the high school level based on age appropriateness due to vulgarity or violence”.

Mr Williams said he believed only seven or eight libraries in the district’s elementary and junior high schools even had a Bible on their shelves, and it is not part of the school curriculum.

Book reviews are conducted by teachers, parents and administrators, he said.

Utah is a mostly conservative state, with between 50 and 60% of its people being Mormons, a religious group that reads the Bible along with other scriptures, such as the Book Of Mormon – which has not been challenged in the Davis School District.

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