Utah school board member says to burn or shred books, just don't let kids read them. | Hits & Misses | Salt Lake City Weekly

Utah school board member says to burn or shred books, just don't let kids read them. 

Hits & Misses

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Feel the Burn
No, Utah is not Florida II, but we sure are acting like it. And by acting, we mean "snitching." It's not enough to criminalize reading and pooping—we have to make sure no one's doing it without official permission. Let's start with books, the kind that apparently have made children into sexual deviants—or worse yet, Democrats. Never mind that there is no evidence that books have deleterious effects on young minds. Utah wants "good" parents to tell school boards they've seen these horrible tomes that the state school board is so ready to destroy. "So I don't care if it's shredded, burned, it has to be destroyed one way or another," board member Brent Strate told his colleagues at a recent meeting. It's all the Utah Way, as the law also incentivizes snitching on anyone suspiciously mis-gendered who might use a bathroom.

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Women on the Run
Lawmakers may not care about the facts in their book-banning frenzy, but they might want to look at the numbers for abortions in the state. Women are fleeing Idaho for Utah abortions, while some—probably more than 18 weeks pregnant—are flying to other states. Abortions were up 35% last year compared to 2019, according to the Guttmacher Institute. That probably represents medication abortions, which the U.S. Supreme Court upheld—at least for now. "Overall, more than 171,000 patients traveled to another state for an abortion last year nationwide, according to the new data—with out-of-state travel more than doubling across the country in 2023 compared to 2019," Fox 13 News reported. The Utah Supreme Court is still considering what to do about a trigger ban making abortions almost impossible in the state. And if Trump wins, the "Christian right" will push for further restrictions. But no matter what happens, desperate women will find a way to get the care they need.

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What Goes Around
Hypocrisy 'R' Us—a new slogan for the Republican Party. It's hard to ignore many Republicans who once denigrated the former president and now suck up to him. But there's more. Gov. Spencer Cox is righteously indignant that Denver has been busing migrants to Utah. It's unacceptable, he says, because our resources are depleted. Apparently, so are the resources in Denver, which got an influx of migrants from Texas. The red-state-to-blue-state transit is just a way to make a statement, the GOP insists. But not the other way around. The blame game goes on and on as Congress, at the behest of Mr. Trump, has refused to do anything about the border crisis. And so the busing—and bitching—continues as America experiences mass schadenfreude. It's the kind of delight that exemplifies a divided country.

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About The Author

Katharine Biele

Katharine Biele

Bio:
A City Weekly contributor since 1992, Katharine Biele is the informed voice behind our Hits & Misses column. When not writing, you can catch her working to empower voters and defend democracy alongside the League of Women Voters.

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