BOUNTIFUL – lawsuit filed by the ACLU against the Davis School District over a book about lesbian mothers may help guide other school districts in Utah in how to handle complaints about controversial books.
The American Civil Liberties Union is suing the school district in U.S. District Court on behalf of a Kaysville mother and her two children, for requiring that students have written permission to check out the book, “In Our Mother’s House.”
It alleges that the Davis district has “placed a discriminatory burden on student’s ability to access fully protected speech,” and “places an unconstitutional stigma on the ideas contained in the book and the students who wish to read it.”
The picture book, written by children’s author Patricia Polocco, tells the story of a family with same sex parents. Several other books written by Polocco can be found on the bookshelves in Davis District schools.
This case helps clarify the first amendment,” said John Mejia, legal director of the ALCU of Utah.
“Ultimately, any case is limited by the facts and circumstance surrounding it. However, other school districts may look at this and be guided by what is allowed under the law.”
Davis School District officials say they remain comfortable with the process they followed in taking a controversial book off the shelves of a handful of elementary schools and requiring written permission for students to check it out.
“We adhered to the policy we had in place,” said district spokesman Chris Williams on Wednesday. “At no time were the parents taken out of the driver’s seat, so to speak.”
Williams said the school district
has never stopped students from accessing the book.
“Parents have always had the right to check out the book,” he said.
For more information check out the Nov. 15 edition of Davis Clipper.