The Utah school district that removed the Holy Bible from schools after a parent’s tit-for-tat complaint has reversed course.
A review committee at the Davis School District previously voted to remove the Bible from elementary and middle schools after a parent, admitting frustration with the state’s 2022 law restricting access to sexually explicit books, complained the Bible has “scenes of incest, bestiality and rape in the King James edition,” according to the Salt Lake Tribune.
The move nixing the Bible from schools was immediately condemned as “reprehensible” and “embarrassing” by Republican lawmakers in the state.
“Frankly, this is embarrassing,” said Rep. Brady Brammer, reported the Salt Lake Tribune. “It’s embarrassing for the state, and it’s embarrassing for the school district.”
The Utah state Senate called the district superintendent and board members to testify and explain how the district could leave pornographic materials in school libraries, while acting hastily to get rid of the Bible.
Members of the Davis School District board said that the books were handled by different committees.
But conservative state senators weren’t satisfied by the explanation.
“Adults can tell the difference between a religious text from the Bible, the Torah, the Koran, the Book of Mormon, even though they depict historic or evidence of various acts, relative to pornography, that which is sexually explicit,” said state Sen. Curtis Bramble during the hearing, according to local Fox 13 News. “I mean, come on, folks!”
Ironically, the Davis School District committee charged with reviewing the Bible found that it contained no material that would warrant removal under Utah code.
Instead, the committee found that it was “age inappropriate” and, by implication, that it had no “serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value for minors,” which led to it being removed from libraries for elementary students, said local ABC News 4.
The result was an immediate protest of the removal by at least 70 people, according to the AP.
The Davis board subsequently voted unanimously to restore the Bible to schools.
“There will be some who will disagree with the vote tonight, as there are some who disagreed with the committee,” said school board President Liz Mumford on the motion to the restore the scriptures, according to the Salt Lake Tribune. But, she suggested, “it’s a process that played out fairly.”
In restoring the Bible, the board took pains to disassociate itself from the committee that originally banned it.
“The magnitude of the value of the Bible as a literary work outweighs any violence or profanity which may be contained in the book,” Davis School District Board Vice President Brigit Gerrard said, according to the AP.