Legislators look at new Utah law aimed at removing inappropriate material from schools
Jun 14, 2023, 9:54 PM | Updated: 10:00 pm
DAVIS COUNTY, Utah — State legislators are taking a hard look at a new state law getting a lot of attention after the bible was removed from some Davis County schools.
The law is aimed at removing inappropriate material from school libraries and classes. But those terms aren’t always clearly defined.
For example, they’re taking that removal of the Bible as a clear sign that this law, the language in it, and how it’s carried out needs a deep dive.
“We should not be having pornographic material distributed to our children on school grounds,” said Rep. Karianne Lisonbee (R) Clearfield. “I think we can all agree on that.”
The Education Interim Committee heard from multiple school districts on Wednesday and the Utah State Board of Education to get a feel for how a review of potentially objectionable books is going so far.
A lot of attention is still on the Davis School District because of a review that led to the Bible being taken out of their elementary and middle school libraries.
There is also concern that the law’s so-called brightline rules aren’t being followed as closely as some lawmakers would like.
These are a set of guidelines set by the law that are intended to clearly define certain types of content that should not be allowed because of the very explicit nature.
There was concern over one book in particular that is still in libraries in the Davis School District.
On top of that, some lawmakers feel the law is being unfairly portrayed as a book-ban.
“And this is what we’re constantly accused of, we’re trying to ban books about people of color, says Rep. Kera Birkeland (R) Morgan. “We’re trying to ban books about LGBTQ people, and that’s false.”
The hearing on Wednesday is more of a listening session to see where the law needs to be modified, and committee members say there is a lot of work to do.