**The King James Bible, removed from several Utah schools due to “vulgarity or violence,” raises vital questions on censorship and standards in education. Are we now applying unreasonable standards to a historical and cultural cornerstone? The answer lies with an appeals committee, who will determine whether the good book will find its way back to our children’s education.**
In a shocking turn of events, several Davis School District schools in Utah have removed the King James version of the Bible after it was deemed to contain “vulgarity or violence” following a parent’s petition. The removal stems from a Utah law enacted in 2022, meant to ban books deemed sensitive to certain age groups. Now, the future of this influential historical book in Davis School District hangs in the balance.
The King James Bible was removed from an estimated seven to eight elementary and junior high schools after a district review committee decided to pull it from all non-high schools. A district spokesperson notably stated that the Bible “does not contain sensitive material as defined by Utah Code,” but it was removed due to its apparent inappropriateness for certain ages.
A Utah parent petitioned to have the Bible removed from schools in March 2023. Despite generations recognizing the historical importance of the King James Bible, the parent claimed the Bible was “one of the most sex-ridden books around,” highlighting instances of “incest, onanism, bestiality, prostitution, genital mutilation, fellatio, dildos, rape, and even infanticide.” These strong claims led to a review and subsequent removal of the King James Bible from several schools.
The controversial Utah law, which bans books sensitive for certain age groups, lies at the heart of the issue. Republican State Representative Ken Ivory argued that removing some books should not be considered book-banning, but rather “clarifying age-appropriate limits.” However, critics argue that the law could be used to censor important works for overly subjective reasons.
Michele Edgley, president of the Utah Educational Library Media Association, weighed in on the matter, challenging the idea that parents should have the power to ban books they disagree with. Parents, she believes, lack the knowledge and insight of the entire student body, and removing books with significant cultural value impacts the educational experience of all children.
The King James Bible did not go quietly, though – a swift appeal was submitted in the hopes of returning the book to every school. With the decision now in the hands of an appeals committee, Utah schools and their students await an important ruling that will determine the future role of the King James Bible in education.
**The removal of the King James Bible from several Utah schools unveils a conflicting narrative of censorship, subjective sensitivity, and the duty to provide a well-rounded education to our children. Regardless of individual beliefs, the outcome of this debate will undoubtedly have a profound impact on the future of literature in our schools and our children’s education.**