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Posted 24 Feb 2001   For week ended November 10, 2000
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News about Mormons, Mormonism,
and the LDS Church
Sent on Mormon-News: 08Nov00

By Kent Larsen

Students Ejected From School For Reading Book of Mormon

SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH -- Three West High Students were escorted out of Salt Lake City's West High School last Tuesday, allegedly because they had copies of the Book of Mormon on their desks. The students evidently planned to read them during free time, but the teacher called the books offensive and asked school security to escort the students from school for causing a disruption.

Salt Lake City school district officials say they don't know much about the incident. "At this point, we don't know exactly what happened," says Patrick Garcia, the district's west area director. He says West High's principal, Joyce Gray, is investigating the incident, but was out ill on Friday. The matter could be resolved by today.

However,the incident has caused hurt feelings and confusion. While the teacher was also out ill on Friday and not available for comment, Salt Lake City Board of Education president Kelly Black said the students had ignored the teacher's instructions. "The teacher's policy was that they were to bring fiction for their free-reading time, so this was obviously not what she asked for." According to Black, one of the students refused to remove the book from the desk when requested, prompting the confrontation. "Students have been asked to put in writing what happened," Black said. "If we find inappropriate behavior on the part of the students or teacher, we will take appropriate action."

Some observers are saying the case raises first amendment issues either because the students were reading a religious text in school, or because the school might be seen as limiting worship.


Religious Book Stirs Classroom Incident
Salt Lake Tribune 4Nov00 D1
By Ashley Estes: Salt Lake Tribune


Book choice spurs ejection
Deseret News 3Nov00 D1
By Jennifer Toomer-Cook: Deseret News staff writer
Some West students punished for bringing scriptures to class


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