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Davis schools sued over policy on book about lesbian mothers

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - The American Civil Liberties Union says it's suing Davis School District for limiting student access to a library book about a lesbian couple raising children.

DAVIS COUNTY, Utah (ABC 4 News) - The American Civil Liberties Union of Utah files lawsuit against the Davis County School District challenging the school district's restriction of a children's book about a family with same-sex parents.

The book in question is titled, "In Our Mother's House." It's a story of a lesbian couple raising children.

It was on the shelves at four elementary school libraries in Davis County until the mother of a kindergartener complained when her child brought the book home. 25 parents signed a petition to have the book removed.

One concerned parent we spoke with said, "That's a very sensitive subject and I think it's not appropriate for young children to be exposed to that type of message."

A school district committee made up of teachers, administrators and parents voted to have the book removed and placed behind the counter, only to be checked out with parent permission. The ACLU says that violates the law.

John Mejia, legal director for the ACLU of Utah said, "We assert in the lawsuit that it violates first amendment of the students in Davis County school district for the administration to place restrictions on books based on the administrations view points."

The administration stands behind its decision pointing to a Utah statue that schools' can't advocate homosexuality. The ACLU would like to see the law clarified

Mejia said, "It asks the court to declare that the Utah statute barring advocacy of homosexuality in the health curriculum does not apply to allow schools to pull books from libraries.”

The ACLU, and the mother who filed the class action complaint, would also like to see the book placed back on the shelves where children could check it out without going through the process of getting permission and going behind the counter to get it.

"Putting that kind of restriction on the book stigmatizes the book and places a burden on the children who would like to read it,” said Mejia. 


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