According to the Associated Press (AP) on newstimes.com, the American Civil Liberties Union of Utah (ACLU-UT) is questioning the constitutionality of a Davis School District (DSD) decision to limit student access to a library book about a lesbian couple raising children. ACLU-UT has sent a letter to Bryan Bowles, DSD Superintendent, requesting a meeting about the book titled “In Our Mothers’ House.”
DSD requires parents to sign a permission slip before students can check out the book on the ground that state law prohibits advocacy of homosexuality in its curriculum. “State law says schools can’t have anything in the curriculum that advocates homosexuality,” district spokesman Chris Williams said. “That is why it is now behind the counter.”
However, ACLU-UT disagrees, arguing that the First Amendment protects student access to books in school libraries, despite school district officials’ opinions that the topic is not appropriate. According to ACLU-UT legal director John Mejia, “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.”
Source: newstimes.com, 6/13/12, By AP
[Editor's Note: In June 2012, Legal Clips summarized a Reuters article in the Huffington Post, which reported on DSD's decision to require students to get permission from their parents to read a book about a lesbian couple raising a family, following the decision by a special committee to keep it behind library counters instead of on bookshelves.
In ACLU-UT's press release announcing that it had sent a letter to DSD officials, the organization 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.]