Books Banned in the Salt Lake Valley

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Books that have been successfully banned already by the state of Utah. Photo by Salt Lake Tribune.

A concerned mother recently sent an email to Canyons School District and expressed her worries over various books because of the sexual content they contain, which she had learned information on over social media. The situation has escalated into nine book titles being pulled off shelves at four high school libraries in the district. 

The policy made by the Canyons Board of Education regarding concerns over books owned by school libraries gives the following outlines for how to handle submitted objections:  first, a challenge must be made about a book by “current students, parents who have children at the school in question, or administrators” according to KSL.com. Then it goes on to explain how the challenges must be made and the procedure for reviewing the book in question.

However, the problem the school board currently faces now is that the mother who asked for the books to be reviewed has no children in high school, and challenged the nine books in all of Utah’s school libraries, challenging that the sexually-explicit content that the books contain goes against state law and shouldn’t be allowed in schools anywhere.

The district officials temporarily pulled the books off the shelves while beginning an internal review over the concerns made over the books as well as their policies. 

On Tuesday, Nov. 30th, a committee announced changes to the Canyons District school board regarding policy regarding challenges made over books in schools, including an expansion in criteria that books need to meet in order to be put onto school shelves, and a previously absent review process to where any parent of a student can request a school-level review into any book. The board expressed affirment for the proposed policy changes, and is now moving forward in making them.

The district said that the books pulled from the shelves will stay that way until they can be reviewed under the new policy once it is passed. 

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