School District Committee Cites 'Vulgarity or Violence' in Decision to Strip Holy Bible from Libraries


Almost every new law passed or regulation enacted leads to unintended consequences.

Case in point: The Davis School District in Utah has removed the King James Bible from elementary and middle schools after a complaint led to a committee review that ended with the Scriptures being deemed  age inappropriate.

Both KTVX and KSTU specified that the decision was made regarding the “King James Bible” specifically; whether other translations of the Bible were affected was not immediately clear.

Davis County School District Communications Director Christopher Williams said in a release cited by KTVX that the committee did not find the Bible to contain “sensitive material” as defined in Utah law, but decided that some of the books contents were inappropriate for younger readers due to it vulgarity and violence.

The Bible will remain on high school shelves throughout the system, according to the outlet.

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Utah enacted a law last year giving state residents the right to challenge whether specific books should be permitted in public school libraries.

According to WTVX, 81 such challenges had resulted in the removal of 33 books from library shelves, ostensibly to protect younger student from exposure to “sex, vulgarity, and violence.”

In this case, an unidentified individual filed a request for the Bible’s removal, citing “49 pages of biblical verses” that could be considered in violation of the new law’s guidelines.

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The Bible describes thousands of years of historical events, which include less savory incidents such as murder, incest, rape and other offenses. These biblical depictions are hardly graphic — particularly in 2023 — but some could arguably require adult explanation for a younger child to understand and properly contextualize them.

The decision to remove the King James Bible from library shelves has already been appealed. That appeal, according to WTVX, will be heard by three members of Board of Education before being decided upon by the full board.

An individual identified only as “Rep. Ivory” by KSTU, presumably Utah State Rep. Ken Ivory, agreed with the review committee’s decision to pull the Bible from shelves.

“The Bible has always been best studied around the fireplace by the families where, you know, parents can give context to the warnings and the teachings that are in the Bible,” the Republican legislator told the outlet.

The Bible is not taught as part of the district’s curriculum, a spokesperson told KSTU.

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Ivory argued that the removal of dozens of books from school library shelves should not be considered “banning books.”

“When many groups characterize this as banning books, that really is an attempt to simply, you know, hyperbolize what’s going on, we’re simply clarifying age-appropriate limits,” Ivory said.

Pending the result of the appeal, the King James Bible has been removed from seven or eight elementary and junior high schools in the district, KSTU reported.

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George Upper is the former Editor-in-Chief of The Western Journal and was a weekly co-host of "WJ Live," powered by The Western Journal. He is currently a contributing editor in the areas of faith, politics and culture. A former U.S. Army special operator, teacher and consultant, he is a lifetime member of the NRA and an active volunteer leader in his church. Born in Foxborough, Massachusetts, he has lived most of his life in central North Carolina.
George Upper, is the former editor-in-chief of The Western Journal and is now a contributing editor in the areas of faith, politics and culture. He currently serves as the connections pastor at Awestruck Church in Greensboro, North Carolina. He is a former U.S. Army special operator, teacher, manager and consultant. Born in Massachusetts, he graduated from Foxborough High School before joining the Army and spending most of the next three years at Fort Bragg. He holds bachelor's and master's degrees in English as well as a Master's in Business Administration, all from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. He and his wife life only a short drive from his three children, their spouses and his grandchildren. He is a lifetime member of the NRA and in his spare time he shoots, reads a lot of Lawrence Block and John D. MacDonald, and watches Bruce Campbell movies. He is a fan of individual freedom, Tommy Bahama, fine-point G-2 pens and the Oxford comma.
Foxborough, Massachusetts
Beta Gamma Sigma
B.A., English, UNCG; M.A., English, UNCG; MBA, UNCG
North Carolina
Languages Spoken
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Faith, Business, Leadership and Management, Military, Politics