Southern Utah school district bans two historically relevant books after parent’s complaint

Southern Utah News

ST. GEORGE, Utah (ABC4) – After one parent’s complaint in Washington County, the local school district is removing two historically relevant books from its libraries.

“We had a parent challenge these two books, Out of Darkness and The Hate U Give,” says Washington County School District Communications Director Steven Dunham.

Out of Darkness is a novel following a romantic relationship between a teenage Mexican-American girl and a teenage African-American boy in New London, Texas in the 1930s. The Hate U Give was inspired by the Black Lives Matter Movement following a 16-year-old’s life after the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend at the hands of a police officer.

Out of Darkness was reviewed by our secondary committee according to policy and The Hate U Give was reviewed by an elementary and a secondary committee, because it’s in a couple of elementary schools and intermediate schools as well as our secondary schools,” says Dunham.

The committees voted to remove Out of Darkness from secondary schools and The Hate U Give will be removed from elementary and intermediate schools. Dunham says after the committees reviewed the books in their entirety, they found profanity and sexually explicit content.

“These children aren’t coming to school libraries to look at inappropriate stuff, they’re looking that up on their cellphones, most of the time that these books are being utilized, they’re being used in a classroom setting under the guidance of an educator, but we recognize that it’s a parent’s right to be a part of that discussion as well,” he says.

Dunham says he hopes parents recognize there are valuable lessons to be taken from those pieces of literature.

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