A school district in Utah that last week banned the Bible from school libraries is now being asked to consider a further title for removal: the Book of Mormon.
The Davis school district, which serves Davis county, north of Salt Lake City, said it was considering a new complaint demanding the removal of the foundational text of the Utah-based Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
The latest potential removal comes just a week after the Bible was taken off the shelves of libraries in elementary and middle schools after being deemed by a committee to be inappropriate because it contained “vulgarity or violence”. The Bible will remain in high school libraries.
The school district said it would assess the Book of Mormon for “all elements of the definitions of pornographic or indecent materials” as defined under a Utah law concerning sensitive materials.
The request to remove the book referenced violence including battles, beheadings and kidnappings.
A national furore has arisen over the removal of books from public schools in several states, often driven by conservatives targeting material that contains references to gender identity or sexuality.
The debate in Utah has centered upon a law passed last year that allows parents to request the removal of books containing pornographic or indecent material.
One parent in the Davis school district decided to demand the removal of the Bible, claiming it to be “one of the most sex-ridden books around”.
The district decided that while the Bible did not violate the Utah law, it was not suitable for younger students.
The Book of Mormon could be next to be banished. Joseph Smith, the church founder who published the book in 1830, claimed it was translated from inscriptions of prophets on golden plates.
The book is presented as a historically authentic depiction of God’s dealings with people in the Americas, although this is disputed by historians and scientists.
Smith was killed by a mob in 1844.
The Book of Mormon is a lynchpin text for members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, who typically study it alongside the Bible.