In March 2022, the governor of Utah, Spencer Cox (R), enacted HB 374, a law that prohibits the use of sensitive instructional materials in schools. The legislation also empowers parents to determine what they consider sensitive and allows them to request the removal of specific books. A parent took advantage of this provision by submitting a petition to have the Bible banned in a school district.
In December, an unidentified parent filed a petition requesting the removal of the religious text. Along with the petition, the individual included eight pages of excerpts to support their claim that the Bible violated the new guidelines established by the law. The petitioner expressed gratitude to the Utah Legislature and Utah Parents United for facilitating this process, which they perceived as being conducted in bad faith. They further commented that parents now have the ability to ban books without having to read them or provide accurate justifications.
According to the complainant, the Bible was deemed highly troubling due to its inclusion of explicit content and violent themes. According to the new legislation, the text is classified as sexually explicit and lacks any substantial educational value for minors.
In the end, the Davis School District made the decision to remove the Bible from all elementary and middle school libraries, while allowing high school students to retain access to the book. However, an appeal has already been filed with the aim of reinstating the Bible in libraries across all schools.
Christopher Williams, a spokesperson for the district, informed The New York Times that the request was handled in the same manner as any other request. Additionally, another individual has submitted a petition to have the Book of Mormon removed from library shelves.
Brooke Stephens, the Curriculum Director of Utah Parents United, characterized the complaints against the Bible and the Book of Mormon as efforts to downplay legitimate parental concerns. She further suggested that if the Bible is being used as a benchmark, more books may need to be removed from shelves.