Gov. Cox: Schools should ‘pump the brakes on the idea of getting rid of books’

Nov 18, 2021, 8:27 PM

Salt Lake City – After reports of parents seeking to ban certain books from schools, Gov. Spencer Cox said Thursday that schools should be cautious and thoughtful about removing books from libraries.

“We really should pump the brakes on the idea of getting rid of books,” Cox said during his PBS Utah monthly news conference.

Cox said he certainly has concerns about explicit language in books.

“I think that books should be appropriate for grade levels,” Cox said.

Cox went on to say that parents should know what’s happening in the classroom and what is being taught. He said there’s a difference between having a book available and a teacher making it required reading.

“Any student of history knows that banning books never ends up well,” Cox said.

Cox was responding to a question about parents in Washington County seeking to ban books. He urged taking a step back and making sure schools aren’t doing something that will be regretted later.

“I’m not saying every book should be in every classroom, that’s not what I’m saying at all,” Cox said. “There are probably some books that shouldn’t be in our schools.”

The governor’s comments come after KSL.com first reported that copies of nine books have been removed from libraries at four high schools in the Canyons School District.

The district took the action to remove the books after a parent emailed the district in late October expressing concerns about the books containing sexually explicit content.

KSL.com reported that swiftly taking the books off of shelves appears to violate the district’s own policies of allowing a book to stay in use while a review takes place.

Read the full story on KSL.com for a list of the nine books that Canyons School District pulled from high school libraries.

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Gov. Cox: Schools should ‘pump the brakes on the idea of getting rid of books’