SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) — A number of Utahns are expected to attend a protest at the Utah State Capitol on Wednesday, June 7 over the removal of the King James Bible in Davis County elementary and junior high schools.
The protest is expected to start with a press conference at noon at the capitol’s rotunda. The group has referred to itself as the Coalition of Pro-Family Groups and Concerned Citizens of Utah. Participants are being asked to arrive starting at 11:30 a.m.
The Bible was removed from Davis County school libraries last week after a challenge by an anonymous Utah resident. That challenge used a new 2022 “sensitive materials” law to allow school stakeholders like parents or educators to protest the presence of certain books in school libraries. The school district has a number of committees reviewing each request, with as many as 40 books currently under review.
The challenge to the Bible argued that the scriptures feature a number of passages featuring violence, sex, incest, and vulgarity. Davis County school officials also confirmed to ABC4 that a similar challenge has been filed against the Book of Mormon. People who have direct connections to the school district (parents, guardians, employees, etc.) may request that a book be reviewed online.
Organizers of Wednesday’s protest said in a press release that they want to “emphasize the importance of the Bible as an essential educational resource.” Organizers said they plan to have “distinguished speakers [to] address the importance of upholding the Bible’s presence in our schools and the implications of its removal.”
The law’s original sponsor, Rep. Ken Ivory (R-West Jordan), issued a call to action in the wake of the district’s decision last week.
“While the KJV Bible may be a challenging read for elementary or middle school children on their own, it was the primary text to help children learn to read for hundreds of years in America,” Ivory told ABC4. “Without conceding the merits of the DSD determination, in today’s world, the Bible is certainly most effectively taught and understood in the home as a family, and in the many churches throughout our state.”
Ivory contends that the law is not about banning books, but rather to help parents and teachers determine the age-appropriateness of each book.