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ACLU of Utah Reaches Out To Davis School District To Discuss Constitutional Requirements
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 12, 2012
SALT LAKE CITY— Today the ACLU of Utah sent a letter to Superintendent Bryan Bowles of the Davis School District to request a meeting to discuss the constitutional implications of the district’s recent removal of the book “Our Mothers’ House,” by Patricia Polacco, from the shelves of a school in the district.
“Federal courts have consistently concluded that the First Amendment protects student access to books in their school libraries, free from limits based on the administration’s disagreement with the viewpoints expressed in the books,” said John Mejia, Legal Director of the ACLU of Utah. “From what we know of the district’s removal of the book, we have serious concerns that the district may have fallen short of these protections.”
In the letter, the ACLU of Utah pointed to several cases in which courts have ruled that the First Amendment prevents schools from limiting student access to library materials containing portrayals of LGBT people and noted that this situation is factually similar to those cases. The letter further casts doubt on whether the removal of the book is justified by Utah statute and concludes with a request for a meeting between the ACLU of Utah and district administrators to seek a cooperative effort toward a different resolution.
Download the letter (PDF) >>
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Deseret News: ACLU wants meeting with Davis School District to discuss same-gender book>>
Salt Lake Tribune: ACLU wants district to reconsider restrictions on two-moms book >>
Salt Lake Tribune Editorial: A fearful message (6/14/12) >>
Salt Lake Tribune: Anti-censorship group joins conversation about book limitation in Davis County (06/14/12) >>
FOX 13 News: LGBT families protest decision to yank book from library shelves (6/19/12) >>
Salt Lake Tribune: LGBT families urge district to rethink decision on book (6/21/12) >>